A major campaign has failed to save Cowdenbeath bus depot.
Despite lengthy negotiations between Stagecoach East Scotland and trade unions to keep the depot and more than 140 jobs in the town the shutters will come down on the century-old former tram depot on August 16.
The Courier understands part of the bid to keep the depot running included asking fellow bus drivers at other Fife depots to accept a smaller than anticipated pay rise.
A petition fighting the closure attracted thousands of signatures.
But in three weeks commercial services and the vast majority of its 141 employees, including 111 drivers, will move to other depots and services which currently operate from Cowdenbeath will also transfer to nearby bases.
Stagecoach said this would result in “minor” changes to commercial routes and customers would not see a significant change in these services. The company stressed some improved services would now be provided.
But local MSP Alex Rowley said it was unclear what the impact would be, and this was something which needed to be gauged.
The bus giant blamed the loss of many of its school contracts for the re-evaluation of its local operations.
While it had competed for all Fife Council school services in south and west Fife it had been offered “a significantly reduced level of work” compared to previous years.
Managing director Andrew Jarvis said: “We discussed a range of possibilities with trade union representatives and individuals over the last few months but unfortunately it would not be affordable to continue running fewer services will facing the same overhead costs and we had to make the final decision in the interest of both staff and customers, as well as the long term future of the business.”
He said it was important, however, the move did not reduce journey options and he was glad that had been achieved.
Mr Rowley, who is meeting with management in the next month, said he wanted to understand better the company’s reasoning behind the many service changes.
And he warned, while the company had increased the number of buses running in and out of Fife, that could not be at the expense of local services.
Thanking the workforce, he added: “The closure announcement, although expected, is nevertheless disappointing and we must now be vigilant in protecting local bus services in local communities.”