Hopes are high that a vital service to keep Dundee’s pensioners on the go will soon return to streets.
The city’s three Blether Buses, which ran in the West End, Clepington and Lochee areas, were all suspended during lockdown.
The service was designed for people who find it difficult to use local buses, either due to routes or living some distance from a stop.
Blether Buses can be hailed from streets and will also drop off passengers where there are no stops.
It has now been announced that the three buses, which are hailed as a “vital” service for elderly people, should be returning within the next few weeks as Covid-19 restrictions ease.
‘Left high and dry’
Dundee West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said he has been assured that Dundee City Council is hoping to bring back the Blether Buses, which the local authority has also confirmed.
Mr Macpherson said: “It has taken longer to bring back the Blether Buses than we expected.
“This is because they use small mini-buses and that’s a challenge with social distancing still in place.
“I am really anxious to get a service restored as it has left older folk high and dry with no service.”
Mr Macpherson said that the three blether buses would hopefully be reinstated during the school summer holidays.
“It would be really good to get the service back as many of the service users of the Blether Bus have no mainstream bus alternative to use,” he said.
“A bus service can be a lifeline for many older folk to access local services so I am pleased there is progress towards bringing this vital service back.”
A spokesman for the council’s parking and sustainable transport group said: “We are targeting a date during the school summer holidays for the return of Blether Bus services.
“We hope this can be achieved.
“We are also watching the public health advice for bus travel carefully, conscious of the age of the client group and the limited space within the minibuses for physical distancing.
“When we have a firm date for the return of the Blether Bus services we will communicate this with all elected members within whose wards the services operate.
“We will also liaise with colleagues in the communications team to discuss how we can best publicise the return of the services to passengers.”