Banchory town bus service withdrawal

Banchory's town bus service is being replaced.

Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 4:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:01 am
The 205 service will be replaced next month.
The 205 service will be replaced next month.

From next month, a new door-to-door service - A2B - will be introduced.

The current 205 route is an Aberdeenshire Council contract operated by Stagecoach.

From Monday, July 17, the new council-run service will be available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.

A local authority spokesman said: “The existing Banchory town service is being withdrawn due to its relatively high operating costs and its replacement is expected to give greater value for money to the council and more flexibility for passengers.”

Rather than following a fixed route, the new Banchory A2B dial-a- bus is a demand-responsive service that can pick up from any location in the town to suit the customer’s needs.

Passengers call A2B on (01467) 535 333 between 9.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday to request the bus at the time they would like to be collected.

In most cases bookings can be made up to a week in advance but no later than one hour before travel.

If the bus is already busy at the time the passenger wishes to travel they will be offered an alternative.

Anyone travelling to a health appointment is given priority by being able to book up to two weeks ahead.

The buses are wheelchair accessible and drivers can offer assistance with getting on and off the vehicle when needed.

Drop-in sessions were held in the town recently to give people the opportunity of meeting the A2B team and finding out more about the service.

The change to the town service was discussed at a recent meeting of Banchory Community Council.

Chair Mary Lennox said: “So far we have not been approached by any residents with concerns about the change.

“It seems likely that many have not yet realised what is happening.

“We decided to keep a watching brief on this in order to see how people feel and also, once the change happens, to see how it works.”

Local councillor Ann Ross said the new service will provide a flexible door-to-door service covering all of Banchory, which the previous bus service did not.

She added: “The buses are wheelchair accessible, and drivers can offer assistance to passengers with getting on and off the bus. “This service is different from other Dial-A-Bus services in that it can be booked up to an hour before on the day of travel.”