STIRLING MSP Bruce Crawford has urged Stagecoach East Scotland to ‘go back to the drawing board’ after their recent decision to axe the number 23 bus route.
The route connects Stirling and St Andrews directly via Dollar, Kinross and Cupar.
Public transport continues to be limited for these rural communities following the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Crawford has advised Stagecoach of the continued importance of these services to both commuters and residents.
The letter, addressed to East Scotland Commercial Director Douglas Robertson, said: “ I write to you today on behalf of concerned residents and commuters in my constituency of Stirling, regarding the withdrawal of the number 23 bus route between Stirling and St Andrews.
“This route serves as an important transport link, especially for rural communities with already few transport options.
“By withdrawing this service, those employed in urban centres may be significantly disadvantaged, adding further economic strain on the local economy.
“I can appreciate the operational challenges in the coronavirus-era – yet this should not result in communities losing public transport options, especially if excess car usage is to be discouraged and climate change tackled.
“I urgently call on Stagecoach to revisit this decision and continue dialogue with local authorities on how best to support a range of public transport options, particularly for isolated rural communities.”
Whilst appreciating the difficulty that public transport companies have faced through this crisis, this form of transport remains indispensable for many in the region.
Mr Crawford reiterated: ‘It’s no secret the public transport sector has faced challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. But as workplaces, schools and general life has begun to adopt a new normal, it’s vital public transport remains an option for commuters and residents.
‘Whilst local authorities and the Scottish Government have encouraged active travel, and the uptake of methods such as cycling has been robust, bus travel remains a lifeline for several rural communities across Stirling and Central Scotland.
‘I urge Stagecoach to go back to the drawing board, carry out further consultation with communities and local authorities, and find a solution that serves both their customers and our communities.’
Feature image credit – Scottish Parliament / flickr