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All from Monday 16th August 2010… for some reason known to LJ, I've had to put it behind two cuts!

  Aberdeenshire Bus Service Changes
Aberdeenshire Council recently retendered the majority of their local bus service contracts. Last time around, you may recall that Stagecoach Bluebird swept the board (back in 2005) by submitting a combination bid for 141 different local bus and school contracts.
This time around though, funds are more limited. Some services have already been cut entirely, with the better performing services being offered for tender now. Admittedly some of the services offered in 2005 were somewhat generous, given the level of take-up. However, prepare to be slightly surprised. With regards to services in the Dundee Area Bus Forum areas…
Services 8/9 (Laurencekirk - Montrose) Stagecoach Bluebird retain the contract for the Saturday lunchtime journey, which is retimed. However, Service 8 from Laurencekirk to Montrose at 20.45 (Mon-Sat) is now Friday & Saturday only, and the 20.20 Service 9 (Mon-Sat) from Montrose to Laurencekirk is withdrawn. However, a new journey will run on Service 9 from Montrose at 21.13, running Fridays & Saturdays only. No change to the M W Nicoll journeys, that make up the rest of the service.
Service 24 (Brechin – Laurencekirk – Stonehaven) Service contract reverts from Stagecoach Bluebird (albeit with the majority operated by Strathtay’s Montrose depot, on loan to Bluebird), back to M W Nicoll. There is a slightly reduced timetable, meaning the Brechin end is reduced to three buses a day on weekdays, and none at all at the weekend. The bulk of the service does mostly serve Auchenblae and Glenbervie, replacing withdrawn 103 journeys. On Mondays to Fridays, minor timing changes to replace these. On Saturday, the existing timetable is out the window. The new service will be two journeys between Laurencekirk and Stonehaven only, leaving Laurencekirk at 07.41 and 12.56, returning from Stonehaven, Barclay Street, at 08.20 and 13.20. I cannot find reference to a Sunday service, so I presume that those have gone too.
Service 29 (Edzell Woods – Montrose) and A2B10 (Laurencekirk A2B Dial-A-Bus) While both these services were put out to tender, in the meantime, lack of use meant these would not continue, and the tenders were not awarded.
Services 29/29A/29B (Brechin – Edzell – Fettercairn - Laurencekirk) Service remains operated by M W Nicoll. However, the service is substantially slashed. The off-peak services are reduced from a 5-6 buses a day, to one bus, three times a week. The “new” 29 will leave Laurencekirk 09.57 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, via Fettercairn, Edzell Woods, Edzell and Brechin, with a return from Brechin at 12.55. The school journeys become schooldays only Service 29A from Laurencekirk at 15.30 to Fettercairn and Edzell, returning at 15.57, with no morning journey (is that right?)
Service 102 (Montrose – Laurencekirk – Catterline Village – Stonehaven) Contract passes from Stagecoach Strathtay to M W Nicoll (although apparently, Stagecoach did retain it initially, but did not win the 104, which the bid was conditional upon). As a result, this Friday only shopper service is withdrawn between Montrose and Laurencekirk (the placing journeys to/from Strathtay’s premises at Rossie Island). Also see 104.
Service 103 (Fettercairn – Laurencekirk – Stonehaven – Cookney - Aberdeen) This service previously consisted of Stagecoach Bluebird (although most journeys were operated by Stagecoach Strathtay) operating commuter, shopper daytime journeys, plus a handful of Mon-Sat evening journeys. The contracts now provide two buses per day, Monday to Friday (by-passing Stonehaven) and Saturday (via Stonehaven). Monday-Friday journeys that continue are at 06.54 from Laurencekirk to Aberdeen College, 09.05 from Laurencekirk to Aberdeen bus station, with returns from the bus station at 13.45 and the college at 17.05. Saturday service now consists of two buses from Laurencekirk at 09.05 and 14.05, and Aberdeen bus station at 10.45 and 15.45. While the 24 is replacing most of the service, the rest (including the evening service) are withdrawn without replacement. Presumably, now that Laurencekirk rail station has reopened, passengers are using this, rather than busing it to Stoney, and changing there.
Service 104 (Montrose – Laurencekirk – Kirkton of Fetteresso – Stonehaven) This school service has been lost by Stagecoach Strathtay (Montrose depot) to Stagecoach Bluebird (Stonehaven depot). As a result, the additional placing journeys and return journeys are now removed, with the service now starting from Auchenblae at 07.55, returning from Mackie Academy at 15.25 on schooldays only.
Service 105 (Stonehaven – Banchory) Service passes from M W Nicoll to Stagecoach Bluebird. School time journeys have been withdrawn (at least for the public), with the extra placing journeys being withdrawn as a result. As a result, the Monday-Friday schedule is now 08.55 and 13.20 from Stonehaven, and 09.46, 14.06 from Banchory.
Service 339 (Montrose – Edzell – Mearns Academy, Laurencekirk) This commercial service was operated by Stagecoach Strathtay on route to a school contract for Luthermuir Primary School, and was introduced following changes to the provision of cross-border services (for Angus residents who had children at Mearns Academy), hence the unusual timings. So, as Strathtay are no longer operating the school runs, the service is now withdrawn. However, M W Nicoll are providing Service 28 – not sure if this is commercial or contract – a replacement at 07.40 from Brechin Clerk St to Mearns Academy, returning at 16.05, on schooldays only.
Angus Area Bus Service Changes
Only some slight changes are occurring – some as a result of the closure of Stagecoach Strathtay’s Montrose garage, and for the loss of some Aberdeenshire school contracts, plus changes to the 26/27E contract around Forfar, following the loss of the school contract that it was “best value” (new term for de mimmis contract) added to.
Service 20 (Kirriemuir – Forfar – Dundee) The 07.25 Dundee to Kirriemuir and 08.25 Kirriemuir to Dundee Monday to Friday journeys will be retimed slightly between Forfar and Kirriemuir to help improve reliability.
Service 21A (Forfar – Brechin – Stracathro Hospital) A revised timetable will be introduced, with most journeys operating via Brechin Castle Centre during the daytime Monday to Saturday, following passenger request.  There will be no change to the Sunday timetable, which already serves BCC.
Service 26 (Beech Hill – Forfar – Tesco) This Angus Council tendered service will now be operated by Travel Wishart (National Express Dundee’s Angus outpost), not Stagecoach Strathtay. Service has been reduced slightly, now 09.45 and 11.20 from Beech Hill or 11.10 from Tesco.
Service 27 (Forfar – Friockheim – Arbroath) Mon-Fri 09.16, 12.11 27E from Letham, Blairs Road to Forfar, and 11.30 27E Forfar Tesco – Letham, now pass from Stagecoach Strathtay to Travel Wishart. There is a new 09.00 from Forfar, East High Street to Letham, as a result.
Service 30 (Arbroath – Montrose – Brechin – Stracathro Hospital) The 09.08 Stracathro Hospital to Arbroath Monday to Friday journey will commence from Brechin at 09.18 – it used to come off an Aberdeenshire school contract, which has been lost. However, the bus now runs through to Arbroath, as opposed to changing vehicles at Montrose High Street.
Arbroath town services 41 (Timmergreens) and 43 (Kirkton) The 07.40 service 41 and 08.00 service 43 Monday to Friday journeys will be withdrawn and replaced by a new service 43 journey departing Arbroath bus station at 07.45 and operating via Timmergreens on the return to the Bus Station, not The Elms.

Service 47 (Ferryden – Montrose – Borrowfield – Midgrip Cottages) 16.31 Montrose - Borrowfield Mon-Fri journey will be withdrawn. An additional Saturday journey is introduced at 17.09 from Hillside to Ferryden.


Dundee< Area Bus Service Changes
Further to previous posts about the National Express Dundee service review, further changes are now allegedly planned for November. Keep watching here, and on!
Fife Area Bus Service Changes
Further to the July Stagecoach in Fife changes, this package is slightly more widespread. I admit I was not aware of the 53 missing until I was in Edinburgh during the week of the changes! So, here goes!
Services 6,6A,6B (Leven – Methilhill – East Wemyss - Victoria Hospital - Kirkcaldy) A revised timetable will be introduced with the majority of buses now continuing beyond Kirkcaldy as service 7/7A.
Services 7, 7A (Kirkcaldy – Burntisland – Dalgety Bay – Inverkeithing - Dunfermline) A revised timetable will be introduced, although the basic frequency will be maintained. Buses will now continue beyond Kirkcaldy (to Leven) as service 6/6A/6B serving Victoria Hospital, during Monday to Saturday daytime, or as service 8 during the evenings and Sundays. Therefore through links will be restored between Burntisland and Kinghorn to/from Victoria Hospital, as well as new direct links from Aberdour and Dalgety Bay (to & from the Hospital).
Services 8, 8A (Leven – Buckhaven – East Wemyss – Kirkcaldy) These services will replace the current 7/7A routes between Leven and Kirkcaldy, with some additional journeys diverting to serve Victoria Hospital at key visiting times. The same basic frequency will be maintained, and during the evenings and on Sundays buses will continue beyond Kirkcaldy as service 7.
Services 43,44 (Leven – Glenrothes - Whitehill) A revised route and timetable will be introduced with service 43 now operating through Markinch/Prestonhall and service 44 operating direct between Milton of Balgonie and Glenrothes, omitting Markinch.
Services 46,X4 (Leven - Glenrothes) Some minor timetable changes will be introduced.
Services 53,X53,55,N55 (Dalgety Bay/Dunfermline – Ferrytoll - Edinburgh) A revised timetable will be introduced incorporating the withdrawal of off-peak and Saturday journeys on service 53. The weekend Edinburgh – Dunfermline Nightliner service will be revised to operate as service N55.
Services 74,74A,74B (Dunfermline – Oakley – Blairhall/Steelend) These services will be revised to provide a basic 20 minute daytime service between Dunfermline and Oakley with buses continuing to either Blairhall (74/74A) or Steelend via Saline (74B). Service 74A journeys will also serve Parkneuk and East Baldridge. The current evening journeys on service 74B will be withdrawn, although service 74A will continue to provide an hourly link between Dunfermline and Blairhall via Parkneuk and Oakley at these times.
Service 75 (Dunfermline – Steelend - Oakley) This service will be withdrawn and largely replaced by revised services 74B and 76.
Service 76 (Crombie – Dunfermline - Wellwood) This service will be revised to operate hourly throughout the day between Crombie and Wellwood via Limekilns and Dunfermline.
Service 78,78A (Dunfermline – High Valleyfield – Kincardine – Falkirk/Stirling) A revised timetable will be introduced incorporating a reduced frequency between Dunfermline and High Valleyfield (i.e. from every 15 minutes to 20 minutes). The journeys beyond High Valleyfield to/from Falkirk or Stirling will be maintained although there will be some minor adjustments to timings.
Services 79, 79A (Dunfermline – Queen Margaret Hospital - Kelty) A revised timetable will be introduced, although the basic frequency will be maintained.
Services 80,80A (Dunfermline – Duloch Park – Dalgety Bay – Inverkeithing - Ferrytoll) A revised route and timetable will be introduced incorporating a basic 30 minute frequency between Dunfermline and Duloch Park via Izatt Avenue, Birrell Drive, and McKay Drive. Service 80 journeys will continue beyond Duloch Park to Ferrytoll P&R via Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing, whilst service 80A journeys will continue beyond Duloch Park to Fife Leisure Park via Sandpiper Drive.
Service 81 (Dunfermline - Inverkeithing) This service will be withdrawn and partly replaced by revised service 80.
Service 133 (Dunfermline - Kirkcaldy) Nightliner This weekend night service will be withdrawn.
Service 154 (Edinburgh - Dunfermline) Nightliner This weekend night service will be incorporated into revised service 55, as route N55.
Service 159 (Edinburgh – Dalgety Bay – Burntisland – Kirkcaldy) Nightliner This weekend night service will be incorporated into revised service X58, as route N58.
Services K1, K5 (Kirkcaldy – Chapel Level circular service) A revised timetable will be introduced incorporating a basic 20 minute frequency between the Bus Station and Templehall Avenue, with buses then operating either anti-clockwise via Harris Drive, Robert Adam Drive, Chapel Level, Chapel Road, Birnam Road as service K1, or clockwise via Birnam Road, Chapel Road, Chapel Level, Robert Adam Drive, Harris Drive as service K5.
Service K4 (Kirkcaldy – Dunnikier Estate) This service will be improved to operate every 20 minutes for much of the day. (As to why, I understand it is being interworked with the new 8 – is that correct?)
Services X24,X26,X27 (GlasgowDunfermline – St.Andrews) A revised timetable will be introduced incorporating the withdrawal of some evening journeys.
Service X50 (Dunfermline – Ferrytoll - Leith) This Monday to Friday peak service will be revised to provide an early morning journey from Dunfermline at 06.35 via Ferrytoll (06.55) to Leith, with a second journey from Ferrytoll to Leith at 08.10. Return journeys will depart Leith at 16.25 to Ferrytoll, and 17.45 to Dunfermline via Ferrytoll.
Service X54 (Edinburgh – Dunfermline – Glenrothes - Dundee) An additional Monday to Friday journey will operate from Edinburgh to Dunfermline at 0835.
Services X58,X60 (Edinburgh – Kirkcaldy – Leven – St.Andrews) A revised timetable will be introduced with most daytime journeys operating 5 minutes earlier than currently.
Service X61 (Glenrothes – North Kirkcaldy – Ferrytoll - Edinburgh) This Monday to Friday peak service will be revised to provide a morning journey from Glenrothes to Edinburgh at 06.55, with an evening return journey departing Edinburgh (Bristo Square) at 17.15. 

Perth & Kinross Area Service Changes
Many changes to commercial and contracted services, as a result of a council retendering exercise, will follow at the end of October.



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