Published: 06/10/2017 11:43 - Updated: 06/10/2017 14:39

Reprieve for Moray bus routes?

stagecoach bus whitelocks
MP Douglas Ross flanked by Donald Macrae and Nicola Moss from Moray Council and Stagecoach's Mark Whitelocks and Graeme Lesley

STAGECOACH says it will look again at its recent decision to cut two bus routes in Moray.

However the bus company’s regional boss has made no promises about resurrecting the services to Bishopmill in Elgin and to Forbes Hill in Forres.

More than 170 people turned out for a meeting last night in St Giles Church, Elgin, to discuss the state of the bus service in Moray.

Mark Whitelocks, the managing director of Stagecoach’s northern operations, received a mostly patient reception from the large audience.

Several people from the floor asked if some of the buses currently running every 20 minutes –  and not full – between Elgin and Lossiemouth could be rerouted to Bishopmill.

It was suggested that perhaps two buses in the morning, and two in afternoon would be sufficient to meet the existing demand.

In addition, a large number of people from Forres asked for some buses to take the nine minute detour necessary to go to Forbes Hill.

But despite the turnout, Mr Whitelocks maintained that those two services had been cut because they had not been busy enough to make them profitable.

However, under sustained pressure, he eventually agreed he would examine the passenger numbers again to see if the situation had changed.

Also present at the meeting Nicola Moss, who is Moray Council’s Transport Manager.

She stated that under current legislation it was not possible for the local authority to run its own bus service.

However, she added, the Scottish Government is currently investigating the issue.

More on this story in next week’s print edition of the Northern Scot.

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