Proposed changes to Aberdeenshire bus network – have your say.

Stagecoach have issued the following information and are seeking your views. All feedback received by 17th November will be considered ahead of plans being finalised.

Full details of all routes can be found here.

I have summarised the main changes to Westhill and the surrounding areas as highlighted by Stagecoach:

Within Westhill, the service is proposed to become two way rather than operating a circular route in Westhill with journeys finishing at Broadshade to improve the overall reliability of the service. Other minor timing adjustments to the timings between Kingswells P&R and Union Square.

Service 220 withdrawn from Broadshade due to the extension of service X17, some 220 journeys will extend to Kirkton of Skene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillhead of Concraig one day road closure

Please note that due to Utility Works to be carried out by Scottish Water/A Plant Lux Traffic Management it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to apply the following restriction to traffic.

CLOSURE

ON B979 KIRKTON OF SKENE TO A96 TYREBAGGER

At Hillhead of Concraig

For 1 day on 24 August 2017

Diversion via A96 to B994 Kintore, B977 to Lyne of Skene, B9126 to A944 Gairloch, B979 to Kirkton of Skene as shown on the attached plan

Access to Emergency Vehicles will be maintained at all times.

Access for pedestrians will be maintained and vehicular access to affected properties will be maintained whenever possible.

Westhill A2B dial-a-bus changes to service

Following a re-tendering exercise of the contract for the A2B dial-a-bus, the following changes are effective from Monday 21st August.

Service Area

It is proposed that the service operating area will be more compact as per the attached map to keep the bus closer to Westhill. Alternative arrangements are being considered for the one existing passenger who will be negatively impacted. It is anticipated that the revised operating area will make it easier for the management of requests from passengers living outside Westhill, e.g. Echt, Garlogie and Kirkton of Skene.

Monday-Friday Service

The finish time is being brought foward to 1615 hrs which matches the usual demand for trips. Due to the revised operating area, mentioned above, from 21st August, residents of Dunecht and Echt will be able to request a trip on a Friday (an option not currently available). The service will be operated by two wheelchair accessible taxis instead of one minibus. The availability of two vehicles should result in an increase in the number of transport requests that can be accommodated and the vehicles will be easier to manoeuvre in narrow streets.

Saturday Service

A timetabled service will operate, as below, using the wheelchair accessible minibus that currently operates the service. This service is similar to the current operation on Saturdays.

Proposed Timetable

All passengers must pre-book to travel via the Council – bookings cannot be made via the driver.

The following times are indicative and the actual times will vary by up to 15 minutes depending on the number of passengers and location of pick-ups on the schedule. The earliest possible pick-up time will be 0930 hrs and the latest possible drop-off time will be 1245 hrs.

Echt                                    0945

Garlogie                              0955

Kirkton of Skene                 1005

Westhill Shopping Centre   1020

Westhill Tesco                    1030

Westhill Tesco                    1140

Westhill Shopping Centre   1150

Kirkton of Skene                 1205

Garlogie                              1215

Echt                                     1230

Passengers will be provided with an estimated pick-up time when they book.

Route

The main route is: from Echt on  B9119 via Garlogie to Carnie roundabout; then B979, A944 and B979 to Kirkton of Skene; then Old Skene Road to Westhill (Shopping Centre); then Westhill Drive, Prospect Road and Endeavour Drive to Westhill (Tesco). Return via outward route in reverse.

The route may be truncated or varied in accordance with the passenger pick-ups on the schedule. (For example, if there are no bookings for Kirkton of Skene the bus can operate from Garlogie to Westhill via the most direct route taking in to account any pick-ups en route).

The service aims to provide door-to-door transport so, in accordance with the schedule, it will divert off the main route by up to half a mile to pick up and drop off passengers as close as possible to the door.

Stagecoach confirm changes to local services

Following consultation and input by local residents and councillors, the council’s Public Transport Unit (PTU) have provided a summary of the Stagecoach revisions which will commence on 8th May 2017. They say “the company has implemented a small number of additional changes (highlighted in red) in response to comments and complaints received both at their own public consultation events and at the Council’s Area Bus Forums. Council officers have also requested minor changes to contracted journeys to improve connections for passengers and also respond to public requests. The PTU continues “However, overall, you will see that there are cuts to commercial services on the A947 (service 35), A96 (services 10/37), A944 (services X17/X18) and A90 (south) (services 7/7A/7B/7C) corridors and this is cause for concern. Stagecoach have confirmed that the changes are primarily to tailor levels of service with current passenger demand, which has been falling over the last 2 years, in order to ensure commercial viability, whilst improving service reliability by implementing more realistic journey/layover times.”

I have included all the service changes, not just our local ones, so the full range can be appreciated.

Summary of Stagecoach Bluebird Timetable Changes, 08 May 2017

4A/4C (currently 106)

Stonehaven Town Service

Replaces the hourly Monday to Saturday inter-peak Service 106 (Stonehaven Town Service), contracted to the Council.

  • New service is half-hourly Monday to Saturday inter-peak with alternate journeys (4A and 4C) operating in the opposite direction and it will connect with mainline services to/from Aberdeen at Barclay Street.
  • Aberdeenshire Council will continue to financially support 50% of the service.
  • Timing changes of up to 15 minutes.

7, 7A, 7B, 7C, X7

Aberdeen – Portlethen/Newtonhill/Stonehaven

Stonehaven – the mainline service will no longer serve areas to the west of the two railway bridges, with buses only serving the Thomson Terrace and Forest Park areas. To compensate for this, the Town service is enhanced as Service 4A/4C above, serving Farrochie and Edinview areas.

  • 0718 hours ex Spurryhillock – Barclay Street – Aberdeen (Monday – Friday) is re-instated in response to requests received at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Bus Forum.
  • Marywell Park will be served hourly instead of half-hourly.
  • Frequency reduced from 15 mins to 20 mins between Aberdeen and Portlethen, but there will be a consistent route with all buses serving Schoolhill, Asda, Portlethen Academy and Berrymuir Road.
  • Buses will operate hourly between Aberdeen and Newtonhill, instead of every half-hour.

10

Aberdeen – Inverurie – Huntly – Elgin – Inverness

0550 hours ex Aberdeen – Inverness (Monday to Saturday) is truncated to commence in Huntly.

  • 1730 hrs ex Aberdeen – Insch (Monday to Friday) is truncated to commence from Inverurie, A connection is available with Service 37 (Aberdeen – Inverurie).
  • 2220 hours ex Aberdeen – Elgin (Monday to Saturday) is withdrawn. There is a 2150 hours ex Aberdeen – Inverurie (Service 37).
  • 2300 hours last bus from Aberdeen to Elgin (Monday to Sunday) will also serve Blackburn, Kintore and Inverurie, compensating for the withdrawal of a Service 37 journey (see below).
  • 0539 hours ex Elgin – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday) is advanced by 32 minutes to depart at 0507 hours.
  • 1725 hours ex Inverness – Aberdeen (Monday to Saturday) is truncated to terminate in Huntly. There are alternative departures at 1625 hours and 1825 hours.
  • 2025 hours from Inverness – Aberdeen (Monday to Saturday) is withdrawn, meaning that the last southbound bus is at 1825 hours.
  • New Sunday journey: 0947 hours ex Elgin – Aberdeen.
  • Timing changes of up to 14 minutes.

X17

Aberdeen – Westhill – Elrick

Reduced frequency from 12 minutes to 15 minutes Mon – Sat. Stagecoach advises that this will improve reliability with the same vehicle resources, the 12 minute frequency being impossible to maintain due to congestion. No change to Sunday service.

X20/420

Alford – Kemnay – Aberdeen

With the aim of commercially viability, whilst compensating for the reduced frequency on Service 37 (see below), Service X20 (Alford / Kemnay – Aberdeen) will operate via Kintore (School Road) & Blackburn, adding up to 8 minutes to journey times. The contracted Service X20 journeys in the evenings and Sundays will continue to operate direct to/from Kemnay.

  • New Service X20 journeys: 0815 ex Kemnay – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday); 1540 ex Kintore – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday); 1548 ex Blackburn – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday); 0719 ex Aberdeen – Kintore (Monday to Friday); 1410 ex Aberdeen – Kemnay (Monday to Friday).
  • Council officers to review the routeing of contracted Service 420 (Kemnay – Blackburn – Aberdeen) later this year in response to requests received at the Garioch Area Bus Forum for consideration to be given to by-passing Blackburn, to reduce overall journey times between Kemnay and Aberdeen, in view of Stagecoach’s decision to re-route Service X20 as above.
  • 1445 hours ex Aberdeen – Kemnay (Service 420) (Monday to Friday) is advanced by 5 minutes in response to concerns raised at the Marr Area Bus Forum regarding missed connections with Service 421 (Inverurie – Kemnay – Alford) in Kemnay (see also Service 421 below).  

35/35A

Aberdeen – Oldmeldrum – Turriff – Macduff – Elgin

0825 hours ex Aberdeen – Banff (Monday to Friday) is truncated to commence from Oldmeldrum.

  • 2105 hours ex Aberdeen – Whitehills (Monday to Saturday) and 2215 hours ex Aberdeen – Banff (Monday to Saturday) are rationalised to form a 2135 hours ex Aberdeen – Whitehills (Monday to Saturday).
  • 1603 hours ex Turriff – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday) is withdrawn. There are alternatives at 1523 hours and 1623 hours.
  • 1623 hours ex Banff – Aberdeen (Saturday) is withdrawn. There are alternatives at 1550 hours and 1650 hours.
  • New journey 0528 hours ex Macduff – Aberdeen (Saturday).
  • In response to queries, it is confirmed that Service 35A (Oldmeldrum – Aberdeen) is unchanged.

37/X37

Aberdeen – Inverurie

Reduced frequency from 20 minutes to 30 minutes (Service 10 continues to provide an additional bus per hour between Inverurie town centre and Aberdeen).

  • No longer operates via School Road in Kintore (covered by Service X20 above) with all buses operating via Hallforest Avenue.
  • New peak limited stop journeys numbered X37: 0635 hours ex Inverurie (Monday to Friday), 1710 hours ex Aberdeen (Monday to Friday) and 1931 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Saturday).
  • 2310 hours ex Aberdeen – Inverurie (Monday to Sunday) is withdrawn but will be covered by a Service 10B (Aberdeen – Elgin) departure at 2305 hours, serving Blackburn, Kintore and Inverurie.
  • 2125 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Monday to Friday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departures are at 2010 hours and 2210 hours. There is also a 2125 hours Service 10 departure from Inverurie (not via Kintore or Blackburn).
  • 2325 hours and 0025 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Monday to Saturday) are withdrawn. The last southbound departure is now at 2210 hours, though there are later Nightbird departures early Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • 2355 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Sunday) is withdrawn. The last southbound departure is now at 2225 hours.
  • 2125 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Saturday) additional journey.
  • 1648 hours ex Inverurie – Aberdeen (Sunday) additional journey.
  • Service re-routed to serve Craibstone Park and Ride to provide a link to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
  • Timing changes of up to 20 minutes

41

Insch – Inverurie

0912 hours ex Insch – Inverurie (Monday to Friday) and 1012 hours ex Insch – Inverurie (Saturday) contracted journeys are extended to commence from Beechcroft Road, Insch, in response to requests received at Garioch Area Bus Forum.

66/66A

Peterhead – Mintlaw – Stuartfield – Maud

1730 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield (Monday to Saturday) is extended to Maud, in response to requests received at Buchan Area Bus Forum.

  • 1155 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield (Monday to Friday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departures are at 1100 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Stuartfield and 1245 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Maud.
  • 1100 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield (Monday to Friday) will serve Torterston instead of Downiehills, in response to requests received at Buchan Area Bus Forum.
  • 0629 hours ex Stuartfield – Peterhead (Monday to Saturday) is extended to commence from Maud, in response to requests received at Buchan Area Bus Forum.
  • 1240 hours ex Stuartfield – Peterhead (Monday to Friday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departure is at 1144 hours
  • 1808 hours ex Stuartfield – Peterhead (Monday to Saturday) is re-routed to commence from Maud at 1816 hours and will not serve Stuartfield. There is an alternative departure from Stuartfield to Peterhead at 1852 hours (Council contract).
  • 1100 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield (Saturday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departures are at 1000 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Maud and 1200 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Stuartfield.
  • 1445 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield (Saturday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departures are at 1400 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Maud and 1600 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Stuartfield.
  • 1255 hours ex Peterhead – Mintlaw – Maud (Saturday) is retarded to depart at 1400 hours.
  • 1140 hours ex Stuartfield – Peterhead (Saturday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departure is at 1244 hours.
  • 1335 hours ex Maud – Mintlaw – Peterhead (Saturday) is retarded to depart at 1441 hours.
  • 1523 hours ex Stuartfield – Peterhead (Saturday) is withdrawn. The nearest alternative departure is at 1655 hours.
  • 0915 hours and 1725 hours ex Peterhead – Stuartfield – Peterhead (Sunday) return journeys are extended to operate as Peterhead – Mintlaw – Maud – Stuartfield – Peterhead.
  • Timing changes of up to 31 minutes.

217, 218 and 220 (currently X18)

Aberdeen – Westhill – Elrick/Alford

Service X18 is renumbered and split into three separate services as follows:

217: Echt – Elrick – (Aberdeen)

Peak hour weekday connecting service, operated under contract to Aberdeenshire Council.

218: Aberdeen – Westhill – Alford (via Lang Stracht)

The hourly daytime service (Monday to Saturday) which has been trialled since August 2015 will be reduced to 5 return journeys (Monday to Friday) and 3 return journeys (Saturday) on the basis of extremely limited passenger demand, effectively reverting to the Council’s contract specification which maintains peak and inter-peak provision and includes boarding/alighting restrictions between Elrick and Aberdeen to enable faster journeys. Connections with Service X17 (Elrick – Westhill – Aberdeen via Queens Road) are available at Kingswells Park and Ride.

First a.m. weekday peak journey from Alford to Aberdeen is advanced by 7 minutes to ensure workers arrive at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in time for 0800 hours. This was in response to requests received at the Garioch Area Bus Forum.

220: Aberdeen – Westhill (Hillside and Broadshade)

Most journeys on this Aberdeenshire Council contract will commence/terminate at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where connections are available with frequent services to/from the City Centre, with 3 return journeys per day going to/from Union Square. Operates via Kingswells Park and Ride (connections with Service X17 for Queens Road) and Kingswells Village.

421

Inverurie – Kemnay – Alford

1516 hours ex Inverurie – Alford (Monday to Friday) on this Council contract is retarded by 5 minutes in response to concerns raised at the Marr Area Bus Forum regarding missed connections with Service 420 (Aberdeen – Kemnay) in Kemnay (see also Service 420 above).

422

Insch – Alford

2356 hours ex Alford – Insch (Monday to Saturday), which is essentially a positional journey back to Insch depot, is re-routed via Whitehouse instead of Montgarrie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future of A2B bus service in Westhill – what do you think?

Following discussions at the recent Garioch Area Bus Forum meeting, the Council’s contract for Westhill A2B dial-a-bus currently operated by Stagecoach expires in August 2017. The service, which is open to the general public, operates door-to-door within Westhill and outlying areas as per the schematic map on the Council’s website – http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/public-transport/a2b-dial-a-bus/westhill/ .

Officers are currently reviewing detailed usage of the service in order to determine whether the service specification should be revised prior to tendering in April.  Initial ideas include the following:

  • The Mon-Fri service currently operates 0900-1700 hrs.  We are considering bringing forward the last drop-off time to 1600 hrs as there is little use of the service between 1600 hrs and 1700 hrs.
  • The Sat service currently operates 0930-1400 hrs, primarily serving Echt and Westhill.  We are considering tendering a more fixed route/timetabled service based on current usage to try to reduce the operating costs.
  • Amend the operating area to “withdraw” from the Leylodge and Schoolhill areas – this will match what is happening on the ground as we have no transport requests from these areas.

If you wish to provide comments or suggestions for the council to consider please email a2bdialabus@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call the A2B general enquiries number on 01224 664747 by Thursday 23 March.

 

What do you think of proposed bus timetable changes?

Stagecoach have issued the following information and are seeking your views:

“Ahead of registering our new timetables for 1st May 2017 we’d like to hear from you! Our proposed timetables to commence 1st May are available here. Services will be revised in Aberdeen, Buchan, Stonehaven, Inverurie, Kemnay and Moray from this date.

Proposed timetables for bus services are all available online now at stagecoachbus.com. We’d love if you could review the proposals and share your thoughts, whether in support of the revisions, highlighting any concerns or sharing any other ideas you have on the services we operate.

Proposals include –

  •  Improvements to bus connections between Aberdeen and Stonehaven. Service X6 will be replaced with new X7 journeys, operated by Stagecoach Bluebird.  These will be offered in addition to the X7 journeys operated by Stagecoach East Scotland.  Service 7A/7B/7C will be replaced with a simplified 7/7B service – as part of this change the route in Portlethen and Stonehaven will be modified to be more consistent.
  • Westhill – Aberdeen service X17 will become a 15 minute frequency at peak times, and a diversion to Prime Four Business Park will be introduced in the peaks.
  • Some early morning and late evening journeys on services 10 and 35 to be withdrawn in response to low passenger use currently.
  • Service X18 will be replaced by service 217, 218 and 220.
  • Inverurie – Aberdeen service 37 will be revised to a frequency of every 30 mins Monday – Friday. There are two proposals for this service – option A operates on the current route and Option B operates via Craibstone Park & Ride. Customers are encouraged to provide feedback on their preferred timetable.
  • Alford – Kemnay – Aberdeen service X20 will see some minor timing revisions. Like with service 37, there are two proposals for this service – option A operates on the current route and Option B operates via Craibstone Park & Ride. Customers are encouraged to provide feedback on their preferred timetable.
  • Aberdeen Airport service 727 will be revised and will no longer serve Craibstone Park and Ride. There are two proposals for this service – one operates on the current route and the other details the timetable for when Broad Street will close for redevelopment.
  • Service 80 – Kirkhill Industrial Estate to Aberdeen Airport will be withdrawn due to low passenger use.
  • Service 66 – Peterhead – Stuartfield will reduce in frequency.
  •  Service 11/11A will be revised to operate every 30 minutes.
  •  Service 30 will be withdrawn due to extremely low passenger use.
  •  Service 31 will be withdrawn and replaced by service 33.
  •  Service 32 will be withdrawn and replaced by a revised service 36 allowing customers to connect to the New Elgin retail area.
  • Service 33 will be revised to operate a 20 minute frequency from Lossiemouth to Pinefield and New Elgin via Elgin. The section of route from Lesmurdie Road to Newmill Road will be withdrawn due to low passenger use.
  • Service 36 will operate to a revised route to replace part of withdrawn service 32. The section between Elgin and Forres will be withdrawn. Bus travel between Elgin and Forres can be made on services 10/11/11A.
  • Service 34 and 38 will not be revised from 1st May.

We are also holding holding information events throughout Aberdeenshire and Moray, to let you view the timetables or speak to local staff about the proposals. Events are planned to take place in Aberdeen, Westhill, Elgin, Portlethen and Inverurie.

Aberdeen St Nicholas Square, Aberdeen 2nd March, 10am – 4pm

Garioch Area Bus Forum Westhill Academy, Westhill 2nd March, 7.30pm – 9pm

Elgin St Giles Shopping Centre, Elgin 7th March, 9am – 5pm Portlethen/Inverurie Date and Venue TBC but event will take place week commencing 6th March.

At the events you can give us your feedback and or ask any questions regarding the proposed schedules.

For those unable to attend the above events, the proposed timetables and network maps are now available to view here, all feedback is welcomed to nscotmarketing@stagecoachbus.com or simply reply to this email.  All feedback should be submitted no later than Friday 10th March 2017.

How good are our local bus services?

 

If you have any issue you want to raise or questions to ask of either Aberdeenshire Council or Stagecoach, please come along to the Garioch Area Bus Forum on Thursday 2nd March at 7.30pm in Westhill Academy.

The Invitation plus Agenda can be accessed below. Please email me separately if you wish a copy of the previous Minutes from September 2016.

Garioch Bus Forum Invitation 02 03 17

Garioch Bus Forum Agenda 02 03 17

 

 

 

 

Garioch Bus Forum

bus

Garioch Bus Forum meets on Thursday 22nd September at Kemnay Village Hall at 7.30pm. Representatives from Aberdeenshire Council and Stagecoach will be on hand to answer any bus-related queries. I will not be able to attend due to another local meeting, but can pass on any comments to the Chair so that they can be discussed at the forum. Please feel free to go along and raise local issues. The Agenda for Thursday’s meeting along with the Minutes of the previous meeting can be found below:

Garioch Area Bus Forum Papers (22 Sept 2016)