Low usage subsidised buses set to be axed

ANGUS Council’s Infrastructure committee will consider a report on two local tendered bus routes which showed a very low level of passenger use.

It was recommended that the Hillside to Montrose (tenders A378-380) and Ferryden-Montrose (Tuesday and Thursday daytime) and Montrose-Ferryden (Monday to Friday late afternoon) (tenders A396-A398) services be discontinued.

The Hillside service was monitored by survey and ticket machine data, and for the week starting October 1 only two passengers used the bus into Montrose and there was nobody on the return journeys. On the week starting October 29 three passengers made the journey to town, with nobody on the return trips. The subsidy for this service is £30 a day.

Usage of the Ferryden service had declined since it was instigated, and it averaged fewer than three passenger journeys a day on sections of the route where there was no alternative service. The present cost of the contract is £3,640 per annum.

No award was made for an early morning contract from Brechin to Montrose, which had been suggested by Nigel Don MSP, to connect with trains to Aberdeen. The report to committee said that there was already a budget shortfall, and without additional funds it would be impossible to provide this service.