Bus passengers unhappy

Newtonhill residents have hit out at Stagecoach for treating them as “second class citizens” following the reintroduction of late night buses from Aberdeen.

The bus company recently reintroduced the late services on Friday nights and Saturday nights, with buses leaving Aberdeen at 00.40, 01.40 and 02.40am. However the first two terminate at Portlethen.

Councillor Ian Mollison said: “I have been contacted by unhappy residents in Newtonhill. They are at a loss to see why they do not have the same opportunities as Portlethen people. They did when the previous service was running.

“Unfortunately the former Nightbird services ended because of trouble from some travellers.

“While the return of the late night service is welcome, it is disappointing that only the 02.40am service continues on to Newtonhill and Stonehaven, arriving at 03.31am.

“The residents tell me they feel Newtonhill people have become second class citizens because our village is smaller than Portlethen. They rightly point out that Newtonhill is an expanding community.

“I am aware that this is a commercial decision for the bus company. However I will be putting these points to their managers at the Kincardine and Mearns Bus Forum on Monday. This is a public meeting held in the council chambers at Viewmount, Stonehaven, on Monday (26 March) at7.30pm.”

“I hope they will be to reassure Newtonhill – and indeed Stonehaven residents – that their needs will be taken into consideration when they evaluate the success of the late night services.

The bus forum, which is open to the public, brings together bus users, community councils, council representatives and bus operators in a consultative forum.