Residents unhappy with service changes

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Westhill and Elrick Community Council hosted a packed meeting on local bus services last Thursday at Westhill Academy.

Residents heard from Stagecoach representatives that the new timetable due to commence in March would see a reduced frequency to the No 18 route which serves Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

At a time when NHS Grampian are calling on patients and staff to refrain from driving to the ARI site, the reduced service will cause major headaches.

A heated debate followed with residents pointing out that the service was unreliable with some buses turning up 40 minutes later than scheduled and the drivers were unsure of the routes.

Due to the ever-expanding housing developments to the West of the town, Stagecoach commercial manager William Mainus responded to a request from a Skene resident that the company would be looking at the service provision for the Kirkton of Skene area.

Among the requests from the floor were a bus shelter to be provided at Hazlehead Academy and for a text message service to be made available for virtual recording of complaints and queries.

Westhill Pupil Council requested that Stagecoach take into consideration the timings of their service buses for children from the outlying areas to Westhill Academy to ensure timely arrival at school.

Mr Mainus announced an increased frequency of the X17 service from March and a new Westhill to Banchory route will also commence next month.