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Stagecoach releases new timetable in ‘victory’ for Perthshire after bus cuts furore

A new 39 service will replace the X7 and 16 services in the Carse of Gowrie, but some say the new timetable leaves "a lot to be desired".

A Stagecoach logo.
Stagecoach is proposing a shake-up of buses across Perthshire. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Stagecoach has released its new timetable for Perthshire after threatening to make mass cuts throughout the local authority.

The bus company has removed their X7 and 16 services in the Carse of Gowrie and replaced it with a 39 route that will see a reduction in service for some of the villages in the area.

A version of the 39 timetable was published by Angus Council on Thursday.

The X7 bus from Perth to Dundee.
The Stagecoach X7 bus service is under threat. Image: Supplied

Stagecoach’s original proposals released earlier this year would have left the Carse of Gowrie without a commercial bus service.

The bus company was sent back to the drawing board after a campaign of pressure from residents, politicians and The Courier.

The new 39 service

The 39 will run between Arbroath and Ninewells and will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday during the day.

These journeys will extend to Invergowrie.

One journey per hour will extend from Ninewells to Perth Royal Infirmary and these journeys will operate via villages in the Carse currently serviced by route 16/16X.

For some communities this will retain the existing hourly frequency.

Stagecoach say Errol and Glendoick will be served approximately every two hours.

Monday to Saturday evening journeys, and Sunday journeys that were numbered 16B will be renumbered to 39B, operating between Perth bus station and Dundee bus station.

Mixed reviews to new timetable

There has been mixed reaction to the new timetable from politicians who worked closely with communities to raise their concerns with Stagecoach.

Alasdair Bailey, Labour councillor for Carse of Gowrie, believes the compromise is not good enough, however Perthshire North MSP John Swinney described the new service as a “victory for commuters.”

Labour councillor Alasdair Bailey
Labour councillor Alasdair Bailey.

Mr Bailey said: “Although the proposed future bus service for the Carse is a lot better than the complete withdrawal that was threatened, it still leaves an awful lot to be desired.

“Yes, the people I’ve spoken to are relieved that Stagecoach will offer some level of service.

“However, what has been announced today is nothing more than a skeleton service.”

The councillor highlighted that depending on where you live in the Carse, there is anything from a 95% reduction at Kingoodie to a 60% reduction at Errol.

He added: “I’ll continue to press for better services because this just isn’t good enough.

“Hopefully those who previously doubted the need for public investment in public transport will see this as a wake up call.

“Fortunately the council now has funds allocated to investigate better ways to deliver public transport and I look forward to work starting on that as soon as possible.”

‘Continue to fight in years ahead’

Mr Swinney, who held multiple public meeting across the region regarding the cuts, said he was pleased an agreement had been reached.

John Swinney MSP addresses the crowds in St Madoes. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

“In my representations to Stagecoach, including my meetings with senior management, I reinforced this point and urged them in the strongest possible terms to reconsider their proposals,” said Mr Swinney.

“Accordingly, I am pleased that Stagecoach has taken onboard the legitimate concerns I raised on behalf of my constituents, and that steps have been taken to ensure the future viability of bus routes within the Carse and Bertha Park.

“This new timetable, and Stagecoach’s acceptance that they could not press ahead with their proposed cuts, is a victory for commuters across Perthshire.

“I will continue to fight for my constituents to ensure that public transport remains accessible in the years ahead.”

Bertha Park keeps certain services

The timetable for service 4 operating to Bertha Park retained certain early morning journeys for peak travel and Stagecoach say service 34C will also be extended to serve Bertha Park on Sundays.

Perth and Kinross Council leader Grant Laing. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

Councillor Grant Laing, Leader of Perth and Kinross Council, said: “This new timetable from Stagecoach offers residents in Perth and Kinross a different service than what is currently in place; however, the new times and routes that will be available will make it easier for people to travel around much of Perth and Kinross without having to come into the city to transfer to another service.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to Stagecoach; your views have been taken into account and have had a real impact on the decisions made regarding our bus services going forward.”

The new timetable


Minor changes to the daytime timetables Monday – Sunday; evening timetable revised to incorporate North Muirton.


Monday – Saturday revised timetable. Sundays now covered by 34C.


0745 from Mill Street Monday – Friday retimed to operate five minutes earlier.


Revised timetable and route. Journeys between Scone and City centre now operate every 15 minutes (up from every 20 currently) Revised route will omit Scone Park & Ride (bus some journeys on 57 will connect this site with Perth city centre).

Service between City centre and Broxden Park & Ride revised including some journeys now via Aviva. Some journeys will continue beyond Broxden to service Hillend.


Revised timetable to operate up to every 30 minutes via existing route. Early morning and some evening journeys will be replaced by service 7B, operating via Broxden Park & Ride.


Minor changes to the daytime timetable Monday – Sunday; evening timetable withdrawn, replaced by 1A & 2A. Connections now available to PRI from North Muirton without changing bus.


Monday – Saturday revised timetable, some additional journeys now serve Huntingtower View near Dobbies. Additional journeys on service 14A extend to Almondbank. All services will operate along A85 between Tesco and Almondbank. Sunday service replaced by some journeys on service 15.


Revised Monday – Sunday timetable. Some additional Sunday journeys will operate via Pitcairngreen and Almondbank.


Service replaced by service 39/39A, see details below. 16B renumbered 39B.


Withdrawn and replaced by journeys on service 7.


Most Monday – Saturday daytime journeys withdrawn with service 34/34A providing partial replacements. Some remaining journeys will operate at slightly different times.


Revised timetable to provide connections at Ballinluig from services to Perth/Aberfeldy.


Monday – Saturday revised timetable and route; service extends beyond Stanley to Bankfoot, Birnam, Dunkeld up to every hour and to Ballinluig (for Pitlochry) and Aberfeldy up to every two hours. Service between Blairgowrie and Spittalfield withdrawn.

Sunday journeys on 34C revised to operate via Bertha Park.


Service between Arbroath and Ninewells will operate every 30 minutes Monday – Saturday during the day. These journeys will extend to Invergowrie, giving this area a 30-minute service.

One journey per hour will extend from Ninewells to Perth Royal Infirmary to retain a link for the Carse to both hospital sites using a low floor bus.

Some journey opportunities from Kingoodie to Ninewells and Dundee will also be maintained.


Minor changes to Monday – Saturday evening timetables; extra journeys added between Perth and Blairgowrie have been added on a Saturday.

Some journeys now operate via Scone Park & Ride.


0640 service from Inveralmond bus depot Monday – Friday extends to Bertha park arriving at 0738.


Service between Perth Royal Infirmary and Dundee bus station will be withdrawn and partially replaced by revised service 39/39A.

What Stagecoach says

Douglas Robertson, managing director of Stagecoach East Scotland, said the new timetable has been put together after the consultation which identified the best use of their resources.

Crowds at public meeting in St Madoes about Stagecoach bus cuts. Image: Steve MacDougall/DC Thomson

He said: “Our collaboration with Perth & Kinross Council transport officers has also led to further adjustments to our proposals and we’re confident that the new timetables better reflect the service usage we’ve experienced, whilst also reinstating certain key journeys and travel options based on the feedback we’ve received from those who rely on public transport.

“Whilst we would never want to implement any service cuts, like any business, we need to be able to cover the cost of operating the bus network to remain sustainable in the longer term. Rising operating costs and low passenger numbers on numerous corridors meant that the shortfall simply was not sustainable any longer and we needed to take action.”