28 September 2021

Additional funding sees reintroduction of supported bus services across Aberdeenshire from October 4

Aberdeenshire Council has announced the reintroduction of its supported bus services as of next month.

The decision comes in light of increased financial support for local bus services as a result of the revised final funding package from the Scottish Government and subsequent changes to the council’s own 2021/22 budget.

Services were originally withdrawn in May of this year to help the local authority realise crucial savings of £245,000 in the current financial year.

However in June, Full Council agreed a revised 2021/22 Revenue Budget which resulted in an additional £120,000 for local bus services during the current financial year and a further £120,000 in 2022/23.

That has enabled the council to reinstate the vast majority of the withdrawn journeys and services from October 4th.

It will also enable services to undertake a more considered evaluation of the routes’ performance in a post Covid-19 scenario, as pre-pandemic passenger data had been used in the original evaluation and the bus market has evolved significantly during this period.

The single route not being reintroduced is Service 747 (Peterhead/Ellon–Dyce) which, given the small number of passengers affected, the considerable service delivery costs and the availability of alternative commercial bus services, was not considered viable.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “I am delighted we have been able to fund the resumption of our supported bus services from October. While I appreciate the impact the temporary halting had on users across our communities, the combination of serious budget pressures and changing travel patterns arising from Covid makes the provision of bus services extremely challenging. I do hope people will make use of these restored services.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “It is important to stress that the performance of these resumed services and the remainder of the supported bus network will continue to be monitored during the Covid recovery period and will be amended as appropriate in response to the evolving market demand.”

Journey & Service Re-instatements with effect from 4 October 2021

5A/6A Echt/Westhill - Aberdeen
0649 hrs ex Echt - Westhill and 1841 hrs ex Westhill - Echt (both Monday to Friday) plus 0605 hrs ex Westhill to Aberdeen (Saturday) operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

64 Blackdog - Aberdeen
Monday and Thursday interpeak service operated by Central Taxis Aberdeen

66 Stuartfield - Mintlaw - Peterhead2000 hrs ex Peterhead (Monday to Friday) and 2036 hrs ex Stuartfield (Monday to Friday) operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

69 Fraserburgh - Inverallochy - St Combs
2225 hrs ex St Combs - Fraserburgh (Saturday) operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

76/77 Fraserburgh Town Service
1820 hrs, 1850 hrs and 2115 hrs ex Broad Street (Monday to Friday) operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

81 Peterhead - Boddam
0518 hrs ex Peterhead and 2323 hrs ex Boddam (Monday to Friday) operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

201 Aberdeen - Aboyne - Braemar
Sunday service between Ballater and Braemar operated by Stagecoach Bluebird. Please note that this is already in operation

248 New Byth - Fyvie - Inverurie
Thursday interpeak return journey operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

270 New Pitsligo - Fraserburgh
Saturday service operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

273 Banff - Gardenstown - FraserburghSaturday service operated by Watermill Coaches

405 Banff - Fordyce - Cullen
Friday interpeak service operated by Deveron Coaches. This reinstates the twice weekly service as Wednesday interpeak service already operated by Deveron Coaches

452 Fraserburgh - Inverurie
Tuesday interpeak return journey operated by Stagecoach Bluebird

473 Gardenstown - FraserburghTuesday interpeak return journey operated by Aberdeenshire Council