Stagecoach axes ‘unsustainable’ North-east buses


STAGECOACH has announced a series of changes to its bus network across North-east Scotland, while depot closures are under consideration.

The bus operator has blamed reduced passengers and higher costs for the decision, which will see timetable alterations and some services cancelled completely.

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The 21A, 22A and 22B Cove and Torry to Lochside Academy routes are all being scrapped, just a year after Stagecoach stepped into save them following funding cuts from Aberdeen City Council.

Staegcoach is also considering closures of its depots in Stonehaven and Insch.

A consultation has been open, while the firm has said it has met with staff and trade unions.

Stagecoach North Scotland managing director David Beaton said: “We are a significant local employer and we understand the importance of bus services for the local community. We also know that any change can be unsettling for our people.

“That’s why we are working closely with both the trade union to protect as many jobs and as much of the local bus services as possible.

“We’re carrying out a consultation and will be working closely with staff during this process, however the reality is that we simply cannot sustain the current operation.”

Speaking to BBC Scotland News, Unite the Union regional officer Vic Fraser said the announced had come as a shock.

“Unite are determined to engage with Stagecoach and our members to secure employment,” he said.

“We are at a very early stage, and there are meetings planned for next week. We will have a better understanding then of what the proposals are and what steps can be taken to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

“We need to look at the rationale for the decisions that are being made, to see if they are justified, and then how we best accommodate and secure continued employment for our members.”

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