Rethink needed on new bus service timetable

I have called on the City Council to look again at the bus timetable for the new 9, 10, 11 and 12 service recently introduced by National Express Dundee, with subsidy support from the City Council.   This follows complaints by constituents in parts of the route around Tullideph that the timing of the bus is badly aligned with the only other nearby bus service, the 17.
Constituents in Tullideph are rightly complaining about the rather bizarre timetable for this new service.  The 9, 10, 11, 12 service is in itself a very welcome development giving communities evening and weekend services where these were previously lacking, but residents are rightly complaining that the timetable is badly aligned to other services.
The biggest problem is that the bus from the Tullideph area travelling into town is at 25 minutes past the hour and the 17 is at 26 minutes past the hour.    Both are half hourly services and passengers – many of whom are elderly – have to wait at least another 28 minutes for the next bus.    Many other areas of the city enjoy far more frequent services, some enjoying a 8 to 10 minute service.
It would make far more sense for the 9, 10, 11, 12 service to be spaced equally between 17 buses so Tullideph and adjacent areas got a 15 minute service.
The City Council’s Head of Transportation advised me:
‘As you will be aware a large percentage of bus operations in Dundee are commercially operated, of which we have very little say in frequencies they propose to operate.
We will, if necessary look to subsidise any areas that we feel are disadvantaged by some service withdrawal decisions made by the operators, as in this case, we have subsidised the 9/10/11/12 evening service and Sunday services.
I am aware that service 9/10/11/12 operates all around Dundee and has a running time of two hours which means that this service cannot run in between other services in all areas of Dundee. If the service was to operate evenly on Tullideph Road it would not operate evenly between buses in other areas of Dundee, and this was a decision that National Express have decided to operate.’
I responded saying that as the 9, 10, 11, 12 service is a subsidised service, the council should be able to influence the timetable and it would make a lot of sense to look again at the service timings.
The new service is welcome but it has to be appropriately timed to maximise the benefit for local communities such as the people living in the Tullideph area.    I have asked the Head of Transportation to look at this issue and it would make sense to discuss it with the operators, National Express Dundee.

Residents’ meetings – Tullideph and Morven Terrace

This morning, I had the pleasure of chairing a residents’ meeting for the folk who live in the Tullideph area, followed by chairing an afternoon meeting with the residents of Morven Terrace sheltered housing complex.    Both meeting were well-attended and very productive but must rate as two of the most challenging I have ever chaired – I have a bad case of laryngitis and my voice is litle more than a whisper at the moment.    A radio interview I was to undertake today was really not an option!
At the Tullideph sheltered lounge, we discussed numerous issues including bus services (including the new 51 service, starting Monday – also discussed at the afternoon Morven Terrace meeting), street sweeping, a flooding issue, dropped kerbing and other local issues.

At the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge, in addition to bus services, we had a chat about road safety on the  bend in Morven Terrace near its entrance (see right), overgrown bushes, parking and other matters.

West End Local Community Planning Partnership meeting

Last night, after my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I took part in the latest meeting of the  West End Local Community Planning Partnership (LCPP), which allows local councillors, council officers across various departments, police, fire & rescue, NHS and local community organisations to get together to discuss West End issues.   On this occasion, the City Council Chief Executive attended part of the meeting, which was a welcome development.
We were given an update about progress with the proposed new Dundee Local Development Plan from a senior officer from the council’s City Development Department.   I again highlighted the issues of derelict buildings and the need to support our district shopping centres.
The LCPP meeting also had a welcome update from the Environment Department about proposed improvements in parts of the West End that include:

  • Improvements to the pathway from Logie Street to the Tullideph sheltered housing.
  • New hedge planting to replace the “temporary” fence at the east end of Magdalen Green.   I requested the “temporary” fence on behalf of residents the best part of a decade ago, so some nicer hedging will be a welcome development.
  • Scott Street entrance to Balgay Park – I have complained about its state before and was pleased to hear it will be improved and brightened up.
  • Hunter Street – roundabout with Hawkhill by-pass – to be tidied, improved with new planting and birch trees.
  • The old toilet block at Lochee Park will be removed and replaced with new toilets at the Lochee Park changing rooms.

Tuesday in the West End …

I had a very busy Tuesday with West End Ward activities yesterday including :

* A meeting with the sheltered tenants in Tullideph at the sheltered lounge in Tullideph Place, where we discussed a number of local issues, including the punctuality of local bus services.

* Attending the latest meeting of the Sinderins Court and Pennycook Court Residents’ Association, at which one of the local community policemen for the area also attended and we discussed local issues around the sheltered housing area.

* I thereafter attended the latest meeting of the Jericho House Support Group at the base in Artillery Lane.   I have recently been assisting the group, who assist men with alcohol-related problems, over funding and benefits related issues and, after discussion yesterday, will be discussing these further with the Social Work and Finance Departments of Dundee City Council.   The staff and service users at Jericho House recently took part in the large West End litter and graffiti clean-up I assisted with the organisation of, and we were most grateful for their help.

* I also held a meeting with the sheltered tenants at the Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace and we had a good discussion about many local issues including lighting in the sheltered housing complex and overgrown trees.   As with all the other meetings I attended yesterday, I am taking forward all issues raised by residents with the appropriate organisation or council department.

* Last night, I attended the final meeting of West End Community Council of its present session, before its summer break.   There was a detailed and highly informative presentation by the Dundee Airport Manager as well as an update on local policing matters by the community police officer covering the western part of the West End ward.   I was able to update the Community Council about a road safety matter at Sinderins and on local litter issues and forthcoming events as part of WestFest were also mentioned.    The Community Council next meets after its summer break on the second Tuesday of September.

Tuesday in the West End …

This morning, I had a very productive meeting with the Tullideph sheltered housing tenants at the sheltered lounge (see right).   We discussed numerous local issues included safety on the pathway from Logie Street to Tullideph Street/Tullideph Place, local bus services and graffiti.

This afternoon, I had a similar and equally useful meeting with the sheltered tenants of Ancrum Place and Morven Terrace.    Issues discussed included pavement repairs that are needed, grass/flower bed maintenance in the area and kitchen/bathroom upgrades.

I have raised all issues mentioned with appropriate council officers.

After a meeting with constituents at teatime, I attended tonight’s West End Community Council meeting, at which there was an interesting presentation from Craig Bartholomew of ADAPT, Dundee CAB‘s money advice service, that is doing great work in helping local people deal with debt and financial hardship.   At the Community Council, there was also discussion on numerous local issues such as graffiti and the state of local roundabouts.   Tayside Police representatives also gave an update on local policing issues.

Meeting with Tullideph area residents

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking with over 20 residents from the Tullideph area at a meeting I organised at the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge to discuss local issues.

It was a a very useful 90 minutes at which numerous concerns were discussed – including bus services, winter maintenance, roads condition and bin collections.   And a lot of banter too!

I have a ‘wee list’  of issues to follow up on behalf of residents that are already in hand.

Polling station changes back in Tullideph area

Following the recent refurbishment of the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge, for the Scottish Parliamentary Election & Fairer Votes Referendum on 5th May, voters in polling district WAE will go back to voting at this lounge.

These electors were temporarily moved to voting at the Morven Terrace sheltered lounge for the General Election last year during the works on the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge.

The change back to the Tullideph Sheltered Lounge affects electors in :

Ancrum Road (2-6 evens)

City Road (103-129 odds, 130-162 evens)

Colinton Place (1-15 odds)

Loganlee Terrace (2-16 evens)

Logie Street (66, 80, 82, 86, 88 and 90)

Pentland Avenue (30 -76 evens)

Pentland Crescent (1-33 odds)

Saggar Street (1-11 odds and evens)

Tullideph Place (2-10 evens, 9-41 odds)

Tullideph Road (7, 9, 11 and 20-36 evens)

Tullideph Street (1-10 odds and evens)