The cancellation of the on-campus shuttle bus service means that students with mobility issues may be disadvantaged as it will be harder for them to get around campus.
The service, run by Mackie’s Coaches of Alloa, was operated on a trial basis last semester and the university has decided not to resume the service in the Spring semester of 2019.
The reason for the cancellation was confirmed by Mackie’s Coaches and the University of Stirling as low usage of the service.
A University spokesperson said: “Following the initial trial of the campus shuttle service, in Semester 1, it has been decided not to continue with the above service in Semester 2. Whilst the trial provided very helpful information on the potential for, and challenges of, running such a service, the very limited uptake in use – and consensus of feedback from recent staff and student surveys – highlighted that there is currently an insufficient business case to continue.”
Union President Astrid Smallenbroek raised the issues that this decision would disadvantage students with mobility issues.
Commenting to Brig she said; “The campus shuttle bus was not renewed this semester with a more environmentally friendly option as planned as it was not used an adequate amount. Unfortunately, this will impact on students with decreased mobility, who welcomed the shuttle bus.”
Students shared Smallenbroek’s concerns about the bus service. Ryan Barclay, a second year Social Policy student who uses a wheelchair said that he thought the idea was a “fantastic idea” and “a step forward in improving the access around campus” when it was first introduced.
Commenting on the cancellation he said, “The cancellation of the service is disappointing.”
Chloe Whyte, a student who has had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) for 10 years spoke to Brig about how important the service was to students with these issues, she expressed her disappointment that the university has cancelled the service, and has expressed her concerns over the negative impact that the end of the shuttle service will have on her.
“The shuttle bus was a lifeline for students with mobility issues, and though its existence was short-lived, I’m gutted that the university hasn’t considered an alternative to scrapping it entirely.
“As someone who’s lived with M.E for almost ten years, I often struggle to walk even the short distance from my halls to the Cottrell Building, and fear that without the shuttle bus, my attendance at lectures and seminars will fall. Our beautiful campus can be extremely hard to navigate for disabled people at the best of times, and I worry that now I may be left confined to my flat during a flare-up.”
The bus ran between the university’s new bus hub next to the Logie Lecture Theatre and the Pathfoot Building.