Moray SNP News
Richard Lochhead MSP has encouraged bus users in Moray to get involved in a public consultation that will help shape the future of bus services across the country.
Transport Scotland is carrying out a consultation in light of the challenges facing bus services across the country and to look at what potential legislative changes can be made to improve the delivery of bus services in Scotland.
Mr Lochhead is encouraging local bus users to respond to the consultation following a number of changes by Stagecoach to services in communities across Moray, including in Forres, Elgin and Roseisle. The MSP has repeatedly called for Moray Council to reinstate subsidies for local bus services, which were withdrawn in 2013, to save vital services and to ensure people in rural communities remain connected.
The votes of Tory and Independent councillors, including new Tory MP Douglas Ross, in 2013 left Moray as the only rural local authority north of Glasgow without a budget for supporting timetabled bus services.
Commenting, Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“Bus services are hugely important to folk in Moray and in many of our rural communities they’re a lifeline for folk. I’m glad that Transport Scotland are consulting with the public so they can establish how local bus services can be better delivered.
“I know that the recent changes to bus services by Stagecoach have hit a number of local communities hard, and that many folk in Forres, Roseisle and Elgin in particular are really suffering as a result. It is absolutely clear that the decision by the Moray Council to withdraw financial support for bus services locally has been a key factor in the loss of services, and I welcome the fact that Moray's new MP Douglas Ross is now trying to mend the mess he created when he voted for funding to be removed when he was a councillor.
“I have urged the Council on numerous occasions to prioritise these lifeline bus routes and to reintroduce funding that would keep our communities connected and served by regular buses, as have my SNP Councillor colleagues. I will continue to press both Stagecoach and the Council to step up and to ensure folk in Moray have the services they need but in the meantime, I am keen to hear people’s views and would encourage every local bus user – especially those who have seen their service changed or withdrawn – to respond to this important consultation on the provision of local bus services.”
Transport Scotland’s consultation can be found here: