Stagecoach ‘common sense’ call over Dunnikier Estate bus cut in Kirkcaldy

Councillor Carol Lindsay and MSP David Torrance in front of the no 14 bus
Councillor Carol Lindsay and MSP David Torrance in front of the no 14 bus.

Stagecoach bosses have been told to reconsider cancelling daytime services on the Dunnikier Estate bus in Kirkcaldy.

The Perth-based company intends to axe daytime services on the number 14 bus to the Dunnikier Estate.

The bus loops from Kirkcaldy bus station through Templehall into the estate on the northern edge of the town.

Stagecoach – which made £72.7 million in profit last year – is consulting on scores of changes across Tayside and Fife as it looks to cut costs.

Bosses maintain that is “not possible” to keep routes where there are very low passenger numbers.

They plan to introduce a major overhaul of its timetables at the end of October.

But people in the Fife town have been voicing their displeasure over the proposed change.

Currently buses run hourly throughout the day, starting at around 8am and running through till near midnight.

Stagecoach’s updated timetable will see services begin at 18:40.

Stagecoach bus cuts hit ‘most vulnerable’ hardest

David Torrance, SNP, is the MSP for Kirkcaldy.

He said he had written to Stagecoach asking it to reconsider its plans and to use “common sense”.

“I have been contacted by a large number of my constituents who rely on this bus route to commute to work and education, as well as people who have mobility issues.

“Cancelling this route would effectively cut people off in the area who do not drive and is another blow to ailing services in Kirkcaldy.”

He said many people in his constituency are struggling with the cost of living crisis and bus cuts would hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

“To cancel bus routes when people are being encouraged to use public transport is ludicrous, especially when people are facing serious hardship due to the energy crisis,” he said.

“As always, it will be the most vulnerable that will pay the price for the waning bus service in Kirkcaldy.”

The MSP is in discussions with Fife bus hire firm Bay Travel to see if they could provide a replacement service, he added.

Cost of operating rising sharply say Stagecoach

A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “Travel habits have changed since the pandemic. Fewer people are now using some bus services, while the cost of operating is rising sharply.

“We will always try to keep routes operational where we can, however where there are very low passenger numbers it is sometimes just not possible to do so.”

She added that the new timetables would “provide a sustainable bus network now, so that we can grow services over the long term”.

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Kirkcaldy – The Courier