A new after-dark bus service could reinvigorate Perth’s flagging nightlife and provide a lifeline for revellers in rural parts of the region.
Stagecoach and Perth and Kinross Council have teamed up to offer late night weekend runs to towns and villages at all corners of the area.
The new buses will leave Perth station at 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays for Pitlochry, Blackford, Kinross, Crieff and Invergowrie.
Until now, music fans and culture vultures were only able to get to gigs and shows at venues like Perth Concert Hall if they had a car, or were willing to pay for a taxi.
The new service also goes some way to address concerns about connectivity and social isolation which were raised during Perth’s bid for UK City of Culture status.
Council boss Ian Campbell said: “I’m sure this will be a real benefit for people living in rural areas who have made found in difficult to get in and out of Perth at nights.
“It will also mean they will be able to stay and have a drink, which will be a boost for bars and restaurants.
“We hope that this will really make a difference to Perth’s nightlife. We know residents and visitors alike enjoy sampling the varied options for evening entertainment of offer locally.
“We also saw that increasing late-night public transport provision would benefit them and therefore the nighttime economy as well so I am pleased that we can provide this support to Stagecoach to deliver additional departures around Perth and Kinross.”
David Frenz, operations director at Stagecoach East Scotland said: “We’re delighted to be adding some new journeys in the evenings to a number of our local routes.
“I hope that the addition of these trips allows more people within the communities we serve to enjoy a great night out in Perth, a city with so much to offer, all year round.”
The Perth 2021 team found that limited rural public transport was one of the key reasons why Perth was “culturally disconnected” from its hinterland.
They found that relatively few people living in the countryside were venturing into the Fair City at night.
The new service will be monitored and if successful could be expanded. However, if it is not well used, it could be scaled back or done away with altogether.
New late night bus services
Communities in the north, south, east and west of Perth will be covered by the new service, including:
– Service 15: departing Perth Bus Station at 2330, serving Almondbank, Pitcairngreen, Methven and Crieff
– Service 16: departing Perth Bus Station at 2330, serving Walnut Grove, Glencarse, St Madoes, Errol, Grange, Inchture, Longforgan and Invergowrie.
– Service 19B: departing Perth Bus Station at 2330, operating to Auchterarder and Blackford.
– Service 23B (Saturdays only): journeys between Pitlochry and Aberfeldy, providing an additional public transport link between the two towns.
– Service 27A: departing Perth at 2335 and serving Luncarty, Stanley, Bankfoot, Dunkeld, Ballinluig and Pitlochry.
– Service 56A: departing Perth Bus Station at 2330, serving Bridge of Earn, Abernethy, Glenfarg, Milnathort and Kinross.
– Service 57: journeys from Perth and Dundee Bus Stations will be extended to respectively include Alyth and Coupar Angus.