69 and 72 bus services

I am disappointed at the decision by Stagecoach Strathtay to withdraw the 72 bus service around part of the West End, although relieved that concerns about the 69 service which covers a larger route in the West End are unfounded and it is not being withdrawn.

I was contacted at the end of last week by constituents concerned to learn that the 72 bus, which provides a limited service to Windsor Street 4 times a day on weekdays, was being withdrawn by Stagecoach Strathtay. There had been absolutely no warning about this – indeed a list of proposed bus changes by the bus company had been circulated to councillors last week and the 72 wasn’t even mentioned on it.

Residents were particularly concerned that this might mean the future of the 69 service. It follows a similar route to Windsor Street but then continues westwards through parts of the West End to Ninewells Hospital and also serves Broughty Ferry. I immediately contacted the City Council’s Head of Transportation, and am relieved to have been informed that the 69 service is to continue as before.

The Council’s Head of Transportation advised me this morning :

“I have spoken with colleagues and unfortunately the Service 72 was withdrawn from Friday 29 May 2009, which ties in with the withdrawal of operation by Stagecoach of the Services 138 / 139. The 72 utilised a 20 minute gap in service when the buses sat in the bus station between runs.

“There was a series of Stagecoach service changes planned for today but these were postponed until the 06 July 2009 changes (as circulated last week). However the cancellation of the 138 / 139 was determined by contract changes with Angus Council, resulting in the knock on that the Service 72 vehicle was no longer available and thus withdrawn too.

“The Service 69 remains in operation and I can confirm there are no plans to withdraw this service. Magdalen Yard Road times are available at http://www.dundeetravelinfo.com/dccmap/pdfs/print_7087904.pdf and www.dundeetravelinfo.com is fully updated, on street timetable displays are being changed today and tomorrow.”

Given that the 72 service has now been withdrawn, I was surprised to see it was still being advertised on the Stagecoach Strathtay website – I have asked the City Council to point this out to the bus company.

BBC, Community Council, local TV and Bus Timetables!

I was contacted by the BBC yesterday following the decision of the Planning & Transport Committee of the City Council on Monday evening to undertake a £150 000 study into protecting the city from flooding – you can read the report of this on the BBC website by following this link : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7606918.stm
Last night (despite the heavy rain!) there was a good attendance at West End Community Council for its monthly meeting and Annual General Meeting.   
I have now received from Stagecoach Strathtay full bus timetables for the 69 route across the West End (replacement for the old 72) and the “new” 72 route (the reduced route only as far west as Windsor Street) and had these available at the community council meeting.   I’m most grateful to the community council member who is ensuring these will be available at both Perth Road Post Office and Blackness Library.   If you would like me to send you copies, please e-mail me at bustimetables@frasermacpherson.org.uk – many thanks!
Lastly, with the recent publication of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission Report, the Fife & Tayside Local TV group has updated its website with the latest news, including :
* Scottish Broadcasting Commission – recommends a Scottish network – potentially good for local TV
* 7th Mux – what is that?    Why it means local TV for all instead of just 1 in 3
* Ofcom DDR consultation – Fife Tayside TV submission now submitted

Thursday’s West End News

Dundee’s success in terms of gaining funding from the “Smarter Choices Smarter Places” initiative has been well reported today in the media. Two leading examples :
On another matter, delighted to see the buses returning to Perth Road east of Sinderins and Nethergate from this morning. I’ve been in touch with Stagecoach Strathtay (following calls from residents) about a hiccup with the 72 service, and the company has responded positively straight away.
The bus company to its credit ran an information day in the City Centre on Tuesday about the service/timetable changes from next Monday (see picture – right) – an excellent initiative, and well received by the public.
Tomorrow sees the “official reopening” of the Perth Road/Nethergate – see news release below. You can read the report in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” by following this link : http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/output/2008/08/14/story11807724t0.shtm


The Lord Provost of Dundee, Cllr John Letford, along with West End City Councillors, Community Council representatives, local businesses, residents and representatives from Scotland Gas Networks, Turriff and Stagecoach, will tomorrow (Friday 15th August at 11.30am at Seabraes Perth Road – just east of Roseangle) mark the official re-opening of Perth Road/Nethergate, which has, since April of this year, suffered a series of road closures, due to gas main replacement works.

Dundee City Council Planning & Transport Convener and West End City Councillor, Fraser Macpherson, said he was delighted that the significant disruption to the Perth Road/Nethergate shopping area caused by Scotland Gas Networks’ replacement of the gas main has come to an end, some six weeks ahead of schedule.

Cllr Macpherson said, “This has been a very difficult period particularly for local businesses but also with inconvenience to residents, with no or limited through traffic and the bus services having to be diverted. I think everyone appreciates that the gas main work was absolutely necessary but I am pleased it has been finished ahead of schedule and that the Perth Road east of Sinderins and Nethergate west of South Tay Street can return to normal.

To mark the re-opening, the Lord Provost will journey on a Stagecoach vintage routemaster bus up Nethergate and Perth Road. Cllr Macpherson said he hoped that, with a diverse range of shops, the district shopping area in Perth Road and Nethergate would remain a highly attractive place to shop.


Latest update on bus services

Martin Hall of Stagecoach Strathtay and I had an excellent meeting with over 40 residents at the Paton’s Lane Sheltered Lounge this afternoon about the future of the 72 bus service. The news release below expands upon the situation – but the key points are :
* There will be three full journey routes each day Monday to Friday on the “old” 72 route – now badged as the 69 and including the “old” 69 Broughty Ferry route.
* There will be an additional four reduced routes (City Centre to Windsor Street and return) badged as the 72.
* The main service buses will return to the Perth Road (Nethergate to Sinderins) from 6am tomorrow following the end of the gas mains replacement works.
Here’s the news release :
NEWS RELEASE : Councillor and Stagecoach meet West End residents about bus worries

Dundee City Council Planning and Transport Convener and West End Councillor, Fraser Macpherson, together with the Operations Manager of Stagecoach Strathtay, today met a packed meeting of over 40 West End residents to discuss their issues about local bus services, following concerns about the future of the 72 bus service in the West End area.Cllr Macpherson said this evening that the meeting was an opportunity to explain the new bus arrangements, which start next Monday (18th August) following agreement between the City Council and Stagecoach Strathtay to retain the route, albeit on a different timetable.

“The agreement between the City Council and Stagecoach ensures that three full route return journeys per day Monday to Friday will be retained, now badged as the 69 service and now also covering Broughty Ferry. This will ensure that Royal Victoria Hospital, Ninewells Hospital and the Newhall Gardens & Invergowrie Drive areas continue to be covered by the service. Additionally there will be four journeys each day on a reduced West End route as far west as Windsor Street, badged as the 72 service,” said Cllr Macpherson.

”The new arrangements will ensure the continuation of local services at least until the end of the current financial year in March 2009, by which the City Council aims to have progressed a demand responsive transport solution to ensure that those who are not served by the main bus services or have mobility difficulties using the service buses, get a service that is useful to them.”

Cllr Macpherson said that he was also able to advise the meeting that he had been informed that normal bus services on Perth Road between Nethergate and Sinderins would be resumed from Thursday at 6am, ending the diversion of buses onto Hawkhill, because of Scotland Gas Networks’ mains replacement project. He concluded, “Residents will be very pleased to see the buses running along the east part of Perth Road after a gap in service for many weeks.”


Busy Monday!

A busy day Monday and apart from an awful lot of day job work starting very early morning – I have a large conference to organise coming up fast! – it included the following :

* Interview with Wave 102 about moves towards local television in Dundee and Tayside/Fife as a whole.    You can hear this by following this link : http://www.dundeewestend.com/2008/08/busy-monday.html

*Meetings with the Council Leader and the Director of Planning & Transportation about a number of issues.   I also spoke at the City Council’s Recess Sub-Committee, backing the report to allow the continuation of a bus service for users of the 72 in the West End and 69 in Broughty Ferry.    I am pleased to say the report was unanimously agreed.

* I am to be on STV news at 6pm tonight to speak about the latest situation on Post Office closures and my request that City Council legal officers investigate the viability of a legal challenge to the four Dundee Post Office closures.



Busy Friday

Firstly, after a week of detailed discussions within the City Council, I am pleased to report significant progress towards ensuring the 72 bus service continues.
After a meeting with the Chief Executive of the City Council today, I spoke again with the Operations Manager at Stagecoach Strathtay, and thereafter over 50 phone calls to residents who either attended the recent meeting at the Paton’s Lane Sheltered Lounge about the future of the bus service or contacted me about the matter. Over 50 calls took ages (hours to be exact!) but residents are very pleased at the progress.

Here’s the news release I issued earlier, reported in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” :

NEWS RELEASE : Good news as vital City Bus Services set to be retained

Dundee City Council’s Planning & Transport Convener, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, today announced that, following discussions between the City Council and Stagecoach Strathtay, two vital city bus services – the 69 serving Broughty Ferry and the 72 serving the West End – look set to be retained in a revised format.

The two bus services had been set to be withdrawn completely from 18th August, following an announcement by the operators Stagecoach Strathtay, but Cllr Macpherson said that, subject to committee approval on 11th August, the City Council had reached agreement with the bus company to retain the routes on a limited timetable.

Cllr Macpherson said that both routes provided a lifeline service for many – particularly elderly people – who live in streets that would otherwise not have a bus service. He sais that, as the ward councillor for the West End, he was very aware of the impact of the loss of the 72 service on constituents, many of whom live in sheltered housing and are very reliant upon the service, particularly as the main bus services are a steep climb uphill.

Cllr Macpherson added that he was grateful to Cllr Derek Scott from the Ferry Ward for his highlighting similar concerns about the impact of the loss of the 69 service in Broughty Ferry.

Cllr Macpherson said, “After a rather frantic week of discussions to try to get a satisfactory solution to this issue, I am pleased that we have a way forward. It will allow a minimum of three return trips each day on both the 69 and 72 services along the existing routes. Stagecoach had already indicated it would be prepared to run a reduced route service along the eastern part of the 72 route and their Operations Manager has confirmed to me that it will proceed with this in addition to the three full-route return journeys per day.

“The report to the Recess Sub-Committee will recommend that the Council assists this initially to the end of the current financial year to allow the services to be promoted during that time to encourage greater use and it also gives the City Council time to progress proposals for community transport to assist different communities across the City who do not have easy access to the main bus services.

“I am extremely grateful to all my constituents in the West End who highlighted the impact the loss of the 72 service, particularly Friends of Magdalen Green and West End Community Council. The fact that a petition of 526 people was collected in just a few days highlights the strength of feeling on this issue. I am also grateful to Cllr Derek Scott for raising similar concerns about the impact in parts of Broughty Ferry had the 69 service been completely withdrawn.

The matter will now be discussed at the City Council’s Recess Sub-Committee on 11th August where a report on the proposals will be tabled. Thereafter, subject to approval, City Council officers and Stagecoach Strathtay will discuss finalised timetables. Cllr Macpherson said that, during a recent packed meeting of West End residents to discuss the future of the 72 service, the Operations Manager of Stagecoach Strathtay had agreed to meet again with residents once matters had progressed and Cllr Macpherson confirmed that he would be arranging this meeting for immediately after the matter has been discussed and hopefully approved at Council Committee.

In conclusion, Cllr Macpherson said, “Clearly the matter still requires committee approval and the proposal sees only a limited number of buses per day, but it’s a great step forward from the position a few days ago, when it looked likely these services would be lost.”

And, talking of the Evening Telegraph, tonight’s paper includes my comments on the result of the Glasgow East by-election (click on headline above to view). A total disaster for Labour and I’d rather not be the Labour MP for Dundee West … The LibDems got horribly squeezed but given past results in similar circumstances (eg Hamilton South) I suppose I should be unsurprised. Ian Robertson, our candidate, performed well (as, in all fairness, did Margaret Curran, but the tide was otherwise).

I’ll leave it to Ian to give the final word, sent to all of us who are members of his Facebook page:

Thank you all for your support and kind words. We fought an excellent campaign in the constiuency where I grew up and which means so much to me.

The result was unexpected and not great for the party but the ‘squeeze’ was brutal and there was no more we could have done.

An excellent team were behind all our efforts and they deserve huge praise for the positive and impressive campaign we ran.

Normality beckons now and a few well earned weeks off before I return to my new electronic smartboard and the great kids of Bellahouston Academy.

Feel free to leave this group now and I will dismantle it with a tear in my eye shortly!

Ian Robertson

Scottish Liberal Democrat

Wednesday activities

Today started with a site visit to look at various manhole covers on Perth Road west of the Invercarse Hotel – these have sunk (as the photo – right – shows) and the site visit with a local resident and City Council officials has resulted in various repairs being raised with Scottish Water and British Telecom.

Thereafter, I attended the first meeting of the Whitfield Regeneration Board (in my capacity as Planning & Transport Convener).

Some hours of “day job” work later, I attended the handing over to Stagecoach Strathtay of a petition of some 526 signatures to help save our 72 bus service. See photo below.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the local people who organised the petition and collected over 500 signatures in just a few days –it gives a clear impression of the strength of feeling in the West End community that the 72 bus service is a vital lifeline for many – especially elderly – people, and we call on Stagecoach Strathtay to save this vital bus service.

The whole community in the West End has pulled together to help the campaign including community groups like West End Community Council and the Friends of Magdalen Green, and I am heartened that so many local people are making their voices heard.

Stagecoach Strathtay has agreed to meet with us later this month. The bus company has made clear that it is now prepared to run a more limited service but we don’t think it is acceptable and it wouldn’t cover areas like Newhall Gardens, Royal Victoria Hospital, Ninewells Hospital and Tesco Riverside, and serving these is vital for local people.

I think it must be remembered that the 72 bus service currently gives a service to many who otherwise would not have a local bus service and it is the most elderly and vulnerable who would be worst affected if the bus was withdrawn.

I am hoping that, between now and our meeting with the bus company later in July, Stagecoach Strathtay will decide to agree to keep the 72 on the road. There is no doubt that there is an extremely strong case to keep this service, which is so beneficial to our community.

Later this afternoon, I attended the Beacon Management quarterly meeting with Tayside Police, which covers policing issues in the area, and a useful meeting with one of the local housing associations later on which resulted in one constituent’s repairs concerns being addressed.

Latest updates …

  • Tonight I attended two of the stakeholder meetings on parking issues in the West End. A very useful presentation from the consultants and productive discussion thereafter.
  • I recently successfully moved refusal of the Tay Rope Works latest planning application (16th June – click on headline above to view). I learned today that the developer has made an appeal against refusal to the Scottish Government’s Reporter. I will be strongly arguing at the appeal that the planning application is inappropriate for the site and does not have the support of the community.
  • I had another series of phone calls from residents today to express support for my campaign to save the 72 bus service. The support from the West End community has been excellent.

Busy Tuesday …

This morning, I chaired (most of the) TACTRAN Board meeting in Stirling and I am most grateful to Councillor Alan Jack (the Vice Chair, a member of Perth & Kinross Council) who kindly chaired the final item so I could get back to Dundee …

Why ? There was a packed meeting took place at the Paton’s Lane sheltered housing complex this afternoon where local residents voiced their concerns at the proposal by Stagecoach Strathtay to remove the Number 72 bus service.

I arranged the meeting so that the bus company could hear the specific concerns from residents about the effect of the bus service being lost. The Operations Manager from the bus company also attended to hear residents’ views. The fact that over 40 residents attended the meeting arranged at short notice shows the strength of feeling in the local community about the need to keep the 72 bus service.

I have no doubt that this point was not lost on the representative from Stagecoach Strathtay and he did promise to take back to the company the issues residents raised and thereafter feed back to me the company’s response. He has also agreed to attend a further meeting to discuss the company’s response after the company has had the opportunity to discuss all the issues raised. At this stage, Stagecoach Strathtay has proposed that, rather than their original decision to completely remove the 72 bus, they had reconsidered to an extent and would provide a more limited service, with only four buses each day and only travelling as far west as Windsor Street.

Whilst it is better than the original decision to simply take the service away completely, residents pointed out at today’s meeting that it fails to provide anything like the service of the current 72 in terms of the western part of the route, the links to Royal Victoria and Ninewells Hospitals and shopping facilities at Tesco Riverside. The company representative did say he would take back these concerns to the company. I think it should be stressed that the 72 provides a lifeline service for many residents, particularly elderly people, and its removal would be a real blow to the whole community. I really sincerely hope that Stagecoach Strathtay can come back with a better proposal than that currently on offer to help ensure that this lifeline service is not lost.

Tonight, I attended two meetings – firstly a public meeting on the Post Office closures (click on the headline to view the article in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” covering my formal objection to the proposed closures of Lochee Road and Nethergate Post Offices) and thereafter a meeting of the Friends of Magdalen Green committee. The Friends are organising a petition against the proposal to withdraw the 72 bus service – good for them!

Number 72 Bus Service

Following today’s news from Stagecoach Strathtay that they intend to withdraw the Number 72 bus service from 18th July, I have spoken with numerous residents who are very surprised and dismayed by the bus company’s decision to remove this local bus service.

I understand that Stagecoach Strathtay’s proposal to remove the 72 service is part of a bus service restructuring operation which will see a number of bus service changes. I understand it is not the only service being cut back or removed, but I am deeply concerned at the proposal in relation to the 72 service as it provides a vital service for local people, especially the elderly, linking streets that would otherwise not have a bus service with the City Centre, Ninewells Hospital and Tesco at Riverside.

The loss of the service would be a real blow to the communities it serves and that is why I have written to the operations manager at Stagecoach Strathtay asking that the decision is reviewed and that this vital service continues for the area. You can read my letter below and the article in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” by clicking on the headline above.

Speaking with residents today, it is clear that they are united in their opposition to the axing of the 72 bus service. Residents of one sheltered housing complex have told me that they are extremely dismayed at the news and we hope there will be a rethink on the part of Stagecoach Strathtay.

My letter to Stagecoach Strathtay:

Martin Hall
Operations Manager
Stagecoach Strathtay
Seagate Bus Station

20 June 2008

Dear Martin

72 Bus Service

I write to express great concern at the proposal by Stagecoach Strathtay to withdrawn the No 72 bus service with effect from 18 August 2008.

The 72 service serves a number of communities who otherwise would not have a nearby bus service. Particular examples include the sheltered housing area to the north of Magdalen Yard Road and also a number of elderly residents in the Newhall Gardens area.

I am very concerned about the effect on particularly the elderly population in these parts of the West End. For example, the residents of the sheltered housing in the Paton’s Lane area would be faced with an uphill walk to Perth Road to catch a bus into town (and this will be particularly difficult during the remainder of the Perth Road gas mains replacement works as buses are currently running along Hawkhill).

Given the real concerns about the effect of the withdrawal of the 72 service upon vulnerable elderly members of the community, I would be grateful if Stagecoach Strathtay would give the matter some further consideration, with a view to either continuing the service in its current form or introducing some form of alternative provision, rather than simply withdrawing the service.

I would be very grateful if you would give this your consideration, and I look forward to hearing further from you.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Fraser Macpherson
Councillor for the West End

West End Bus Matters …

There have been quite a few bus related queries this week.
Firstly, with regard to the roadworks at the roundabout at Blackness Road/Glamis Road/Glamis Drive (see right), residents had contacted me to complain that, although there was a temporary bus stop in location on the inbound route at the roadworks, no such facility exisited for outbound jorneys (ie to Ninewells Hospital, etc) leaving some residents a lengthy walk from either end of the roadworks after coming off the bus.

I am pleased to say that, following my contacting the Planning & Transportation Department about this, an outbound temporary stop has now been arranged.

The other issue raised by residents was the lack of diversionary signage marking clearly how to get to the Hillside area. I have now had the following feedback from the Director of Planning & Transportation :

“My staff in Road Maintenance and Road Network have reviewed the signage for the diversion to the Hillside area. Two extra temporary signs have been ordered and will be placed on Perth Road either side of Invergowrie Drive junction by this afternoon. The good news is that the works are due for completion by early Wednesday morning ahead of schedule.”

Nearby, in Ninewells Avenue – another issue. On 8th April, the bus routes for the 9X and 13 services changed slightly, meaning they now miss out this street. Residents in the area east of Ninewells Avenue have contacted me given the inconvenience of fewer services now serving the area and I have had the following feedback from the City Council :

“With regard to the Service 9x and Service 13 they have diverted onto Tom McDonald Avenue from Ninewells Avenue primarily to follow the most direct route to Ninewells Hospital and to provide additional drop off points within the Ninewells Hospital estate which offers a large number of work and health destinations. Ultimately these are commercial decisions made by the bus operators. At this moment the half hourly 42 and 96 will continue to serve Ninewells Avenue.”

The feedback has also gone to the bus companies, with whom I have also raised this concern. Meantime, if you look below, you can download the timetables for the 42 and 96 services, which still serve Ninewells Avenue.

And the next issue – residents have, in the past, raised with me the lack of bus services to Ninewells Hospital on a Sunday, for those living in Perth Road west of Blackness Avenue. Until recently, there was no Sunday service (except for services going via Blackness Avenue) but in the recent timetable changes Stagecoach Strathtay introduced a service via Ninewells Hospital several times on Sunday (approximately every two hours) serving the western part of Perth Road.

It is badged as the 16B service and you can obtain the full 16 service timetable from the Seagate Bus Station or by clicking on this link : http://www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables/16pckttt07042008.pdf

Lastly, I recorded an interview with Wave 102 earlier today regarding the impending roadworks on Perth Road that start on Monday. Part of this covered residents’ concerns over bus services and I paste below part of my most recent news release on the subject. I should add that clearly labelled notices should by now be placed on all affected bus stops on Perth Road, and you can see a copy of these by clicking on the headline above :

Following concerns expressed by constituents over the potential effect of impending gas main replacement works in Dundee’s Perth Road, West End Councillor Fraser Macpherson today advised that he has sought assurances regarding residents’ concerns about the need to keep local bus services as accessible as possible.

The roadworks – starting Monday (21st April) – will see no through traffic along Perth Road east of Sinderins, resulting in bus diversions.

Councillor Macpherson said, “During the period of no through traffic getting right along Perth Road, I have been advised that the main bus services will be re-routed via Hawkhill. I have spoken with transportation staff in the City Council about ensuring there is good information posted on bus stops along the affected route, clearly advising of alternative arrangements. There are also bus timetables affixed to bus stops on the diversion stops on Hawkhill, to aid public information.

“Many residents have also asked about the 72 local bus service as it runs south of Perth Road on Roseangle and Magdalen Yard Road.

“I have been assured that it will be able to cover most of its route one way or another for all of the roads disruption period. This is particularly important as many elderly people can’t manage the full uphill walk to Hawkhill. At a meeting earlier this week with Scotland Gas Networks, I was also advised that access to the sheltered housing complexes for the Friendly Bus Shopping Service would also be maintained.”

Latest West End & City Centre news

An extremely busy week dealing with issues right across the West End and City Centre areas.
On Tuesday, we had a site visit to Magdalen Green with residents, representatives from the embryonic “Friends of Magdalen Green” group, the Police and Leisure & Communities staff to look at the parking problems.
Additionally, good news – the Planning & Transportation Department has agreed to my request for a further speed/traffic safety survey in Magdalen Yard Road, following up on that last one carried out in 2004.
I also asked that the bus shelter on Perth Road at the Invercarse get side panels as the current shelter (at an exposed site) affords little protection from the elements. Here’s the positive response back from Planning & Transportation …
“We adhered to ensuring a remaining footway width of 1500mm at all sites, however we have been given clearance to reduce this to 1000mm at certain locations and intend to revisit all shelters with no side panels (which also means no seats!) and consider installing small 600mm returns. The shelter maintenance contractor has been asked to provide quotations and we will take it from there …I will ask … to ensure that this location is considered early days.”
And with regard to the need for real time bus information in the Commercial Street shelters that I had requested, the department continues …
“Also as a brief update, Adshel (Clearchannel) have now been approved by P&T committee as advertising shelter partners and I have asked them to consider the Commercial Street shelters for inclusion of Real Time Information and poster panels.”
Lastly, a very useful meeting with Stagecoach Strathtay and Planning & Transportation on Thursday about the No 72 bus service (along with Cllr Nigel Don, part of whose ward – Gowrie Park – is served by the service as well as my own West End area). It is hoped to review the service later in the Spring – I am very keen to see it serve Richmond Terrace/Court and that the mid-afternoon ‘gap’ in the service issue is resolved.

Dumped Rubbish Sorted, 72 bus service

Productive Community Council meeting in the West End tonight with useful presentations from Tayside Fire & Safety and Tayside Police. And good to see that the Community Council proposal for an “Ultimate” field has been agreed by the Leisure & Communities Department, subject to approval at next Monday’s Leisure & Arts Services Committee.
Pleased to learn today that the rubbish dumped at the back of a Perth Road tenement (see story from 27th December by clicking headline above) has been removed.
Concerned that, due to changes to the Number 72 bus service (linking it to the service to Tayport) it failed to run this morning because the road bridge was closed. I have e-mailed the Planning & Transportation Department about this; this is no reason the “Dundee leg” of the service should not run in such circumstances and the people who called me (all of whom live in the Millhall Crescent/Newhall Gardens area) rely on this bus service. Will advise of feedback.

West End Christmas Week, No 72 bus service

Useful meetings this morning with the Head of Finance and the Council Leader. This afternoon we had an excellent final meeting of the West End Christmas Week Committee before next week’s activities. At the end of this blog entry, I’ll list some of the activities – but do please look at www.westendpyro.com for full details!
Just before my surgery tonight, I met with two Richmond Terrace residents who made the point that the Number 72 service could be extended to Richmond Terrace – a helpful addition for elderly residents in the area – have taken up with the City Council Planning & Transportation Department.
So Christmas Week main events:
It’s the West End Christmas Week 2006!

This year’s West End Christmas week takes place soon! The following events are taking place
– please come along – fun for all the family!

Saturday 2nd December at 10.30am – Christmas Week starts!

The sixth West End Christmas Week will be launched at 10.30am in the grounds of Blackness Primary School by Lord Provost John Letford and the children of Park Place Primary, St Joseph’s Primary and Blackness Primary Schools. The children will be displaying their Schools’ Christmas Trees in the Blackness Primary playground and the winner of the schools’ “Wish for the World” Christmas competition will be announced. Also meet Santa and other characters (many thanks to Utopia Costumes and Party Wizard!) There will also be a street football competition in the Blackness Primary School Grounds and Dundee Instrumental Band will be playing Christmas Carols!
Also on 2nd December :
  • Blackness Primary School – Christmas Fair – including raffle, cake and candy, games, face painting & teas and coffees. All welcome!

Wednesday 6th December – West End Christmas Concert, Christmas Lights Switch On and spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm. All local residents are very welcome to attend. There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools and we are also delighted to welcome the Dundee Hindu community’s contribution.

At 7pm, following everyone taking part in a lantern procession, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Window Twankie from the Downfield Musical Society Panto. The children can see round a fire engine at the switch-on and members of the Tayside Police Band will play too! This year’s fireworks display after the lights switch-on will be much more spectacular than before. We would like to thank the West End shops whose financial support has made the larger fireworks display possible and to Robin Carstairs for his help in organising the fireworks. This is a super family Christmas night – don’t miss it!

Also on 6th December :

  • After the fireworks, why not go onto Verdant Works where a Victorian Christmas evening is taking place with carol signing, roast chestnuts, Mulled wine and children’s activities?

  • Dundee City Council is running a West End youth Christmas event at Blackness Library from 7.30pm to 9pm, including a Christmas arts workshop, DJ workshop, digital music and guitar tuition.

    Other Christmas Week Events!

  • Children’s Window Spotting Competition – spot the Christmas snowflakes in shop windows and win a radio station tour – thanks to Wave 102 – and a gift voucher! Runners-up prizes of huge soft toys – thanks to Horne’s Carnivals!
  • Adults’ Christmas Card making competition – see the details in West End craft shops!
    Battle of the Bands! – taking place in the Shore on Friday 8th December, Harris Academy pupils are taking part and Tay FM is sponsoring the West End entries as part of the Christmas Week!
    Christmas Recipe Booklet – Dundee West Church is distributing this Christmas booklet to many local elderly citizens during Christmas Week. Copies of the recipe booklet will be available at the Christmas Concert on 6th December.
  • Christmas Crackers! – taking place at Logie St John’s Church Hall on Thursday 7th December between 9.30am and 11.30am, this is a fun learning activity run bu Dundee City Council’s Leisure & Communities Department – for parents and pre-school children – including songs, stories and Christmas crafts.
  • Corso Street sheltered lounge – At 1.30pm on Thursday 7th December, Christmas items made by local children will be handed out to local elderly residents.
  • Seasonal creations for children and families – On Sunday 3rd December between 1pm and 5pm, Dundee Contemporary Arts is running this festive event. At £3 per person, you can make your own cards, wrapping paper, posters and tags, using a whole host of printing techniques.
  • Dundee University Students’ Association – is running a campaign against “drinks spiking” during Christmas Week.

Loans Scheme, Superannuation Matters, 72 bus again and Community Council

Productive West End Community Council meeting last night – was able to update everyone on the progress regarding Magdalen Green and also the West End Christmas Week (the minutes of the latter group can be read on the Community Council website at http://www.wecc.org.uk/Traders.htm).
I’ve had many requests from residents for copies of the new 72 bus service timetable (following mentioning this in my West End FOCUS newsletter) – but a couple of issues raised too. Firstly, on a few occasions the bus has missed Newhall Gardens out the route in error (or, rather, the driver has) since the 6th November changes to the route. Had assurances from Planning & Transportation at the City Council that this has been raised with Stagecoach who have mentioned to drivers. Other issue is there’s now a longer gap between buses (due to school run bus) in the afternoons which the Council officer concerns says he’ll attempt to progress a solution in the New Year.
This morning, I chaired the City Council’s Superannuation Investment Sub-Committee and on leaving the committee rooms, popped in to wish the new housing associations’ savings & loans scheme well. The launch took place at the City Chambers – click on the link to read the story in yesterday’s Tele. This is a super initiative from our local housing associations to encourage savings and offer loans at reasonable rates to tenants.

72 bus service and normal internet searching resumed!

With thanks to Suzy Scott of Scotbus fame (http://www.scotbus.com/) and also the City Council Planning and Transportation Department, here’s news of changes to the 72 bus service running through the West End.
From Monday 6th November, in addition to the Travel Dundee changes, Stagecoach Strathtay 72 wiill be merged with Stagecoach Fife 90 (Dundee – Tayport), to form a new Service 72, which will now run through from Tayport via Tesco Riverside, Dundee City Centre, Perth Road, Roseangle, Magdalen Green, Windsor Street, Blackness Library, Speed Street, Perth Road, Newhall Gardens, Invergowrie Drive, then now additionally serving Royal Victoria Hospital & Roxburghe House, then returning via Menzieshill, then now additionally serving Gowrie Park, before terminating at Ninewells Hospital.
The service continues to operate an hourly Monday to Saturday service. There will still be one early morning Monday to Saturday journey departing from St Andrews Bus Station, and the last Saturday only journey continuing onto St Andrews Bus Station. This service will now be jointly operated by Stagecoach Fife (St Andrews depot) and Stagecoach Strathtay (Dundee depot).
As the City Council advises there has been a long standing request from Gowrie Park for an off peak bus service as well as continual pressure from Royal Victoria Hospital for bus service and this helps meet these.
If you click on the headline above you can see the new timetable (then go to the left, click on the drop-down menu, select 72, then choose the timetable valid from 6th November 2006 i.e. starting this coming Monday.)
Pleased to say Google searches back to normal :