Proposed withdrawal of Stagecoach X8 bus service

I have raised with the Commercial Manager, Stagecoach East Scotland, the negative effect of the  proposed removal of the X8 bus service that runs through the West End travelling to/from Perth Royal Infirmary from/to Arbroath and taking in both Ninewells Hospital and Royal Victoria Hospital.     

 

This issue has also been highlighted by my colleague Perth and Kinross Councillor Willie Wilson and we have pointed out that removal of the X8 will mean that the only linking hospital service between Dundee and Perth will be the X7 service which uses a coach-style vehicle, totally unsuitable for passengers who have mobility difficulties as virtually all seats are upstairs.



Stagecoach has not given the X8 a decent chance to get established as it only started last summer.      On the other service – the X7 – it uses coaches that only have one space for a wheelchair, have no dedicated built-in access ramp and the amount of seating on the lower deck is restricted to only two cramped seats immediately behind the driver.     There are no facilities for buggies and prams to be taken on the coach apart from them being dismantled and loaded into the boot.  


I have said to Stagecoach’s Commercial Manager that he should give the X8 a proper chance to build a passenger base, but if the company is determined to take the service off, it absolutely cannot leave the X7 with the coach-style vehicles.  I have long-said to Stagecoach that must have a vehicle type that is suitable for a bus service that serves three hospitals – the coach certainly is not.

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Perth Road – temporary bus diversions from Monday

Further to my recent update about the temporary closure of Perth Road between the Sinderins junction and West Park Road from Monday (9th May) for road resurfacing work, Xplore Dundee has kindly given me the following information about temporary bus diversions.    
 
The poster below covers Xplore Dundee services, but similar diversions apply to Stagecoach 16 and 77 services too :

Stagecoach bus service 26 being withdrawn

I have expressed disappointment that Stagecoach is to withdraw its relatively new Service 26 – City Centre to Camperdown Park via Lochee – from the end of May.
 
The City Council has advised councillors that :
 
“Please note that the Council has been advised by Stagecoach Strathtay that they plan to withdraw Service 26 (City Centre to Camperdown Park via Lochee) in its entirety after 29 May 2016. 
This was a short-lived bus service, that only started operating in November 2015.  Service 26 was operated on a 20 minute frequency with distinctive yellow buses and was marketed as a bus that could take passengers to Camperdown Zoo.   I have been in e-mail correspondence with Stagecoach management who have explained their decision to withdraw was because patronage levels were below that which was necessary to sustain the service in the longer term.
Because the route operated in direct competition with a number of commercial services operated by Xplore Dundee – notably Service 28/29, it is not possible for the Council to support a replacement service.”
 
The 26 service has proved very useful for constituents in streets like Lochee Road, City Road, Pentland Avenue, Balgay Road, Blackness Road and Hawkhill and I’m disappointed that Stagecoach is intending to take it off after such a short period.    
 
I felt it really needed greater publicity and with this it could have, over time, become a commercial success.    
 
I have made these points to the Managing Director of Stagecoach East Scotland, in the hope that some reconsideration of the decision can be considered.

New Bus Service 26

From Monday 9th November 2015, Stagecoach Strathtay will be introducing a new, regular, daily bus service, linking their depot in Wester Gourdie, then Asda Dundee West, Charleston, South Road, Lochee By-Pass, City Road, Pentland Avenue, Balgay Road, Blackness Road, Hawkhill, West Port, Dundee City Centre, and the Bus Station.
 
This is a new helpful service which will benefit parts of the West End Ward and given the concerns I have received about changes to the Xplore Dundee 17 and 9/10 service changes in the Tullideph and Pentland areas. an additional service from Stagecoach is welcome.
 
Many thanks to to Suzy Scott at dundeebuses.info for her helpful information about the new service and you can download the timetable for the new service here.

Launch of new hybrid buses on 73 route

I was pleased to attend today’s launch by Stagecoach of its new hybrid buses that from today serve the 73 service that runs through the West End.

 
The 18 new vehicles feature distinctive branding encouraging the public to ‘Go Green’ by trying the new hybrid buses which will also feature free wi-fi access onboard.
 
The 18 electric powered hybrid double deck buses marks an investment of around £5.3m by Stagecoach and as well as being attractive new vehicles, they have a positive impact on the environment as well.
 
Here’s a couple of photographs from the launch :
The new hybrid bus type on the 73 route
From the left – Neil Gellatly (Dundee City Council Head of Transportation), Cllr Alan Ross & myself!

Free to use cash machines – an update

As residents are aware, I have campaigned over a long period for more free to use cash machines and to have fewer – and hopefully in the future – no ATMs that charge local people for the pleasure of obtaining their own money.
 
A couple of years ago, I was pleased that the Co-operative Group agreed to my request to covert the ATM at their store at the junction of Polepark Road/Edward Street/Brook Street to a free to use machine.
 
Constituents have complained to me that the ATM at Dundee’s bus station in Seagate charges for cash withdrawals so I asked the bus station operators, Stagecoach Strathtay, if the company will review this when the contract with the machine suppliers is due for renewal.    
 
Stagecoach Strathtay’s Operations Manager has responded as follows :
 
“I have contacted the Company that currently supply this machine and they have confirmed they are under contract until 2016.
Your concerns will be considered when we renew or change at this time.”