Clydesdale communities to protest bus cuts tonight
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Among those taking a stand are folk in Wiston, Biggar, Crawford and Abington, who are planning to come out in force to show their strength of opposition to the move.
The Wiston demo will take place at the bus stop at 5.50pm, followed by Biggar from 6-7pm and Crawford and Abington at 7.15pm. Anyone who would like to join the protestors will be made most welcome.
The 101/2 service is currently operated by Stagecoach West Scotland, based in Dumfries.
With the contract due to expire on August 13, and faced with an 86 per cent increase in the route subsidy, Dumfries and Galloway Council decided to withdraw its share of the funding.
Communities in Clydesdale, West Linton and Tweeddale will potentially be left with no links to the capital and are now campaigning for it to be retained – after successfully fighting against cuts in 2012 and 2018.
The Stand Up for Our Buses campaign, which was formed in 2012 in response to earlier threats, has been liaising with community councils along the route to mount a hard-hitting campaign.
Co-ordinator Janet Moxley, from Biggar, said: “Councils must be aware that fuel costs and, therefore, operating costs for bus services have increased massively in recent months.
“They must also know that many families are becoming increasingly reliant on public transport as the cost of running a car spirals.
“For many people the 101/2 is essential to get to work, medical appointments or education. It is also vital to people who can't drive due to age or medical reasons. Without this service a swathe of Clydesdale will become unlivable for many people.”
A petition has been launched at www.change.org/SaveThe101Bus; paper copies are now also available at Brownlie’s and the Gillespie Centre in Biggar and Abington Village Store. It has already gathered 6000 signatures.