Where public transport comes to die

Where public transport comes to die

Update July 10th 2015
In August we lose the Saturday bus but gain a new flexible A2B dial-a-bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays between Collieston and Ellon. Since it's operated by Aberdeenshire Council (rather than private providers), for insurance purposes individuals must register to use the service. Phone Denise May, Aberdeenshire Council A2B Coordinator on 01224 664747 to register for the service which is expected to operate between the hours 9.30am and 2.30pm and begin on Tuesday 18th August. It will utilise a 14 seater minibus. It will be free to use, door-to-door (where feasible) and demand responsive. Bookings will be 7 days in advance or 14 days if travelling for medical appointments. A booking office phone number and service literature will be available soon. Regular travellers may be offered a regular booking (at a fixed time) to save time and money on phone calls to the booking line. A2B buses already operate and are generally well-used in Maud, Banchory, Westhill and Alford, to name just a few places in Aberdeenshire.

Last Saturday service to Collieston blog

To Susan Watt, Senior Transport Officer, Infrastructure Services, Aberdeenshire Council. 8/1/2015. (Edited and updated). Susan's reply is available on request.

So we in Collieston are to lose our Saturday bus service from August 16th 2015? Just when it becomes worthwhile to take my grandson to Dons' home matches, I can’t get there! From 14 buses a week a decade ago to two a week now.

What was done by means of a consultation? Were notices displayed on our buses during the 'consultation process'? What statistics were used to justify 'a declining level of passenger numbers'? There are rarely less than half a dozen passengers between Collieston and Ellon, though the numbers are down this winter due to death, hospitalisation and a couple of folk relocating, moving away from the village. We'll try not to die, get ill or even move in 2015. Restricted movement with fewer buses should be easy enough. Ironically the relocators cite underlying health issues, rural isolation and 'no fit-for-purpose public transport system' as one of the main reasons for moving. Conversely several people have expressed a wish to live here but claim that a lack of public transport puts them off. There are over a dozen villagers using the bus at least once a week. More are occasional users.

However, figures do not tell the whole story. For example, University staff and students from Collieston car-share and sometimes park at Oceanlab, thus adding to the Newburgh passenger numbers into Aberdeen. Witness Newburgh's well-lined Main Street during the day to understand how many others park there and catch the 63 into work or college. Several other villagers are dropped off in Newburgh to catch the bus.

Commuters using public transport walk on a dark, dangerous road a mile and a half to Cotehill crossroads to link with the Stagecoach 63 service, which has improved immeasurably since two years of campaigning against appalling commuter/customer service led to Bluebird/Stagecoach ‘replacing’ their North-East directors and ops staff.

Could commuters use the school buses in the morning/at night and get off at the Park-and-Ride? Is there any chance of an anti-clockwise circular Collieston-Ellon-Newburgh bus service? Will our bus passes be valid on the new in-house, Council-owned vehicle? Will dogs be allowed? What time and on which days do you propose to run this service?

In 2014 we lost the 63 service on a Sunday. Going anywhere after 7pm on any day of the week is impossible unless you want to incur a £20 taxi fare from Newburgh or Ellon.

The Collieston-Ellon bus service is used to connect to the Park-and Ride for ongoing journeys, shopping/socialising, visiting friends/family, access to the Ellon Health Centre, veterinary, pharmacy, pension collection, Council and postal services, childminding, library and other leisure facilities, and paying bills. I could go on about carbon footprints and encouraging folk to stem car use, the subsequent restriction on visitors for the renowned Forvie Centre and National Nature Reserve, Collieston Gala and the irony of an Energetica corridor with diminishing services in its central settlement.

Since we've obviously been left to our devices transport-wise, it has been pointed out that the Collieston Rowing Club have built a skiff.

One final thought – hopefully the ‘Use it or lose it’ overriding principle doesn’t apply to Trident missiles! Or does it?
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Dead bus in Kelly Sawmill on the Haddo Estate at Methlick
Photographer:
Where public transport comes to die

Where public transport comes to die

Update July 10th 2015
In August we lose the Saturday bus but gain a new flexible A2B dial-a-bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays between Collieston and Ellon. Since it's operated by Aberdeenshire Council (rather than private providers), for insurance purposes individuals must register to use the service. Phone Denise May, Aberdeenshire Council A2B Coordinator on 01224 664747 to register for the service which is expected to operate between the hours 9.30am and 2.30pm and begin on Tuesday 18th August. It will utilise a 14 seater minibus. It will be free to use, door-to-door (where feasible) and demand responsive. Bookings will be 7 days in advance or 14 days if travelling for medical appointments. A booking office phone number and service literature will be available soon. Regular travellers may be offered a regular booking (at a fixed time) to save time and money on phone calls to the booking line. A2B buses already operate and are generally well-used in Maud, Banchory, Westhill and Alford, to name just a few places in Aberdeenshire.

Last Saturday service to Collieston blog

To Susan Watt, Senior Transport Officer, Infrastructure Services, Aberdeenshire Council. 8/1/2015. (Edited and updated). Susan's reply is available on request.

So we in Collieston are to lose our Saturday bus service from August 16th 2015? Just when it becomes worthwhile to take my grandson to Dons' home matches, I can’t get there! From 14 buses a week a decade ago to two a week now.

What was done by means of a consultation? Were notices displayed on our buses during the 'consultation process'? What statistics were used to justify 'a declining level of passenger numbers'? There are rarely less than half a dozen passengers between Collieston and Ellon, though the numbers are down this winter due to death, hospitalisation and a couple of folk relocating, moving away from the village. We'll try not to die, get ill or even move in 2015. Restricted movement with fewer buses should be easy enough. Ironically the relocators cite underlying health issues, rural isolation and 'no fit-for-purpose public transport system' as one of the main reasons for moving. Conversely several people have expressed a wish to live here but claim that a lack of public transport puts them off. There are over a dozen villagers using the bus at least once a week. More are occasional users.

However, figures do not tell the whole story. For example, University staff and students from Collieston car-share and sometimes park at Oceanlab, thus adding to the Newburgh passenger numbers into Aberdeen. Witness Newburgh's well-lined Main Street during the day to understand how many others park there and catch the 63 into work or college. Several other villagers are dropped off in Newburgh to catch the bus.

Commuters using public transport walk on a dark, dangerous road a mile and a half to Cotehill crossroads to link with the Stagecoach 63 service, which has improved immeasurably since two years of campaigning against appalling commuter/customer service led to Bluebird/Stagecoach ‘replacing’ their North-East directors and ops staff.

Could commuters use the school buses in the morning/at night and get off at the Park-and-Ride? Is there any chance of an anti-clockwise circular Collieston-Ellon-Newburgh bus service? Will our bus passes be valid on the new in-house, Council-owned vehicle? Will dogs be allowed? What time and on which days do you propose to run this service?

In 2014 we lost the 63 service on a Sunday. Going anywhere after 7pm on any day of the week is impossible unless you want to incur a £20 taxi fare from Newburgh or Ellon.

The Collieston-Ellon bus service is used to connect to the Park-and Ride for ongoing journeys, shopping/socialising, visiting friends/family, access to the Ellon Health Centre, veterinary, pharmacy, pension collection, Council and postal services, childminding, library and other leisure facilities, and paying bills. I could go on about carbon footprints and encouraging folk to stem car use, the subsequent restriction on visitors for the renowned Forvie Centre and National Nature Reserve, Collieston Gala and the irony of an Energetica corridor with diminishing services in its central settlement.

Since we've obviously been left to our devices transport-wise, it has been pointed out that the Collieston Rowing Club have built a skiff.

One final thought – hopefully the ‘Use it or lose it’ overriding principle doesn’t apply to Trident missiles! Or does it?
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Dead bus in Kelly Sawmill on the Haddo Estate at Methlick
Photographer: