Cllr Karen Adam, SNP candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast in the forthcoming Holyrood election in May, has raised concerns that coastal communities will be hard hit by recently announced cuts in bus routes and services. This comes after the money available for supported services was reduced by £245,000 when Aberdeenshire Council set its budget in mid-March.
Commenting, Karen Adam said
If you care about people, you have to care about how those who are isolated and vulnerable are being treated at the moment. Yet again, profit is being put before people. For many, these are essential services and I am sure we all know folk who make good use of them.
Some of the bus services have not been running since they were suspended during the latest Covid-19 lockdown and the rest are due to be stopped from May 31. I fear that recent announcements are the tip of an iceberg, and that areas like Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Gardenstown will be hard hit as will routes which are vital for young people, vulnerable people and the elderly, particularly those with no access to their own transport. It’s not looking good for people and it’s not good for businesses that need good transport links for workers and customers. How are folk expected to make it to medical appointments, for example?
It was the Tory-led administration who reduced spending on bus routes as part of Budget cuts last month. People have contacted me appalled that this is being allowed to happen in the current circumstances. I, along with others, have called for the plan to be axed and for a meaningful public consultation to take place.