PRESSURE IS BEING placed on bus operator Stagecoach following a meeting on Friday between their North managing director Mark Whitelocks and Moray MP Douglas Ross.
Community representatives also attended the meeting which was a follow-up to the public event held late last year in Elgin to discuss issues over the services in Moray being offered by the company.
Today Mr Ross issued a update on the position, saying: “I decided that we needed another face-to-face meeting to agree priorities and try to make some progress, as I continue to be contacted by constituents who are unhappy with the bus service they receive.”
Douglas was joined at the meeting by the chair of the Moray Transport Forum, Anita Milne, Elgin councillors Frank Brown and Maria McLean, Forres councillor Claire Feaver, Heldon and Laich Councillor James Allan and Nicola Moss, transport manager for Moray Council.
Among the issues discussed was access to Dr Gray’s Hospital by bus users, on which Mr Ross said: “Several worried constituents have been in touch with me following the changes to the bus routes that means people getting a bus to Dr Gray’s now find themselves having to cross the A96, rather than being dropped off at the back of the hospital where the previous route stopped.
“This really is not acceptable and I am pleased that Mr Whitelocks has agreed to look at the issue and find a solution. The health and safety of travellers must be a priority.”
Highlighting other issues discussed the MP added: “I met with residents of Larch Court in Elgin and am very concerned that they feel they are being cut off from the town centre. I really want to see some progress here.
“Another priority is Forbeshill in Forres, which has lost its service altogether again making residents feel isolated from the town centre.
“There is no doubt that the financial problems of Moray Council are not helping at all as the Council, due to successive poor settlements from the Scottish Government, is unable to help out. We will therefore have to find other solutions – and that has to include encouraging people to use the buses as much as possible to provide the necessary financial underpinning to improve the service.”
Anita Milne, chair of Moray Transport Forum, added: “The Moray Transport Forum is currently planning a Transport Seminar, open to anyone interested in the issues affecting our communities in respect of transport, in the Spring of 2018, and will be publicising details shortly.”