Buses cause confusion in Mearns

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The Bus service to Gourdon and Johnshaven has been causing concern for the communities.

Since the introduction of the X7 coast rider, these two Mearns communities have been left feeling confused by the bus service and have , in some cases, felt stranded as the bus timetable has caused confusion.

Some of the businesses in the community have reported that customers have had difficulties getting to them, due to no buses running into the villages at night.

Aware of the issues the new route could cause, Gourdon Community Council wrote to the head of Aberdeenshire services expressing their concerns over plans for the X7 bus service, which would not go into Gourdon or Johnshaven.

In the letter the Community Council expressed their concern explaining how the new coaches were unsuitable for the Braes in the area and explained that the Community Council thought it was “nonsense” that unsuitable coaches had been purchased.

They described the coaches not entering the villages as an “inconvenience.”

The Community Council also expressed their concerns for how any time table might run along with the existing Nicholls service through the town, describing the idea of two buses running on the same timetable as “ridiculous”.

The letter also voiced the Community Council’s concern that the exclusion of the village from the route would impact tourism as people would not get the chance to see the village, and with businesses already noticing the difference, this looks very likely.

Aberdeenshire Council, in a reply to the Community Council’s letter explained that they had no control over Stagecoach’s decision to exclude the villages from the X7. The letter explained that there were plans to run a number of journeys via Johnshaven and Gourdon in the evenings and on Sundays and that a daytime service between Stonehaven and Montrose running via Gourdon and Johnshaven would be reinstated.

The Community Council also contacted Stagecoach Bluebird to express their concern.

In it they expressed the same sentiment as the letter to Aberdeenshire Council but also added: “Please would you give the general public ample warning of the proposed changes. We have yet to see any timetables. Working commuters need to be made aware of such a big change.”

Stagecoach replied to the Community Council highlighting the advantages of the new service and explaining that there would be a service provided to the village.

However it appears the Community Council’s requests for transparency were ignored as just last week within the village of Gourdon the community seemed confused about the bus timetable, with one woman explaining she had been waiting half an hour for a bus and didn’t even know if it was due at the stop she was at.

The X7 does stop outside both villages on the A92.

Councillor George Carr. will be pushing for new bus shelters on the A92 at both these locations at the Bus Forum on October 6.