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Stagecoach reveals huge shake-up of Perth and Kinross buses including loss of services

Stagecoach has said the announcement may cause "disappointment".

A stagecoach bus.
Stagecoach has announced changes to service in Perth and Kinross.

Stagecoach has revealed a major shake-up of its bus services across Perth and Kinross.

The group is asking for customer feedback in response to their proposed new timetable – but has said that some people may be left “disappointed”.

Stagecoach said: “In recent years we have been impacted by significantly reduced passenger numbers post-pandemic, with several passenger groups not returning to previous travel habits.

“Bus use remains 21% below pre-pandemic levels in this area and with increased operating costs and our continued investment in new, greener vehicles, changes to our services are required to ensure we remain sustainable and continue to provide a reliable service.

“Whilst we’ve concentrated on serving the busiest routes and journeys, we know these proposals may cause disappointment within some communities.”

‘This is devastating news’

Labour councillor Alasdair Bailey told The Courier that the announcement could lead to the loss of rural services.

He said: “In the Carse, it means that places like Invergowrie, Inchture and Errol will be left with no services through the day time at all.

“This is devastating news and will, sadly, result in a lot of folk having no other option but to buy a car or move house.”

Councillor Alasdair Bailey. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

He added: “We can fight this though and hopefully Stagecoach will find a way to keep on some level of service to our rural villages or maybe another operator will step in.

“For my part, the Labour amendment in Perth and Kinross Council’s budget meeting on Wednesday will again feature plans to build a case for better models of bus operation that put people before profit.

“Hopefully on the second year of bringing those forward, other councillors will now come around and vote for them in appreciation of the true urgency of change in the local bus market.

“Otherwise we’re consigning our entire rural communities to car usage forever.”

Perthshire North MSP John Swinney has called the draft timetable changes “deeply concerning”.

He said: “They will have a significant impact on the availability of bus services in a number of the communities I represent.

“I have already received a number of concerns from constituents and I will be engaging with Stagecoach to protect vital bus services that communities rely upon.”

MP Pete Wishart added: “These Stagecoach timetable changes will come as terrible news to my constituents and will disproportionately impact rural and elderly households who are already at greater risk of social isolation.”

Proposed changes

Here is a list of the changes Stagecoach is proposing:

  • Service 1 and Service 2
    Some changes will be made to the times during the day with evening services revised to meet demand.
  • Service 4
    This service has been running as a result of funding from the developer at Bertha Park but this has now come to an end. The Monday to Saturday timetable will be revised and the Sunday service will be removed.
  • Service 7
    Revised timetable and route to replace the withdrawn service 8 and the 20-minute frequency will remain. Reduced evening services and the 7C will replace the Sunday 8.
  • Service 9 
    Some changes to times during the day with frequency to remain. Evening services will be revised to meet demand. Service 1A and 2A would run on the hour and include parts of the current service 9 route.
  • Service 14 
    Withdrawal of some journeys.
  • Service 15/15A
    Revised timetable that would maintain hourly frequency to Crieff, with journeys running every two hours between Perth and Comrie/Stirling. Buses between Crieff and Comrie would remain approximately hourly with connections available at Crieff.
  • Service 16 
    Withdrawal of daytime journeys between Monday and Saturday.
  • Service 23/27 
    Reduction of number of journeys. More will operate during the summer months when journeys are busier. Scottish Citylink will continue to provide links between Perth and Pitlochry with a limited service to Birnam whilst national rail services will link all three.
  • Service 34 
    The route will no longer serve points between Blairgowrie and Spittalfield but will extend to Birnam and Dunkeld to replace journeys on 23. Generally buses will operate every hour between Stanley and Perth. Service 34C on a Sunday will be rerouted to offer journeys from Bertha Park.
  • Service 39 
    Increase of frequency between Arbroath and Dundee to up to every 30 minutes to partly replace service X7 between Arbroath and Ninewells. Withdrawal of services between Ninewells and Kingoodie. The service would no longer serve Dundee bus station on journeys towards Ninewells (stopping on Seagate instead).
  • Service X7 
    Withdrawn between Perth and Dundee due to low demand. Alternative services between Perth and Dundee via the A90 are provided by Scottish Citylink and Flixbus.

Customers are encouraged to share their feedback online by March 10.