South Scotland

Borders bus service cuts proposed

Bus passengers Image copyright First Group

A string of bus services across the Scottish Borders could be cut by operators First Group.

If they go ahead, the proposed changes would be implemented by the middle of August.

It comes after the group announced plans to end services in East Lothian and close depots in North Berwick and Musselburgh.

Scottish Borders Council said it had only just seen details of the plans and it was too early to comment.

Bus services across the region would be affected by the changes.

The X95 between Hawick and Edinburgh, via Galashiels, would switch from a half-hourly to hourly timetable.

Services facing cancellation are:

  • 397 Hawick to Galashiels College
  • 61 Oxton to Galashiels
  • 67 St Boswells to Galashiels
  • 68 Howdenburn to Galashiels
  • 73 Galashiels to Bannerfield
  • 75, 76 & 77 Hawick town services
  • 8 & 9 Melrose to Galashiels
  • 90A Peebles town services

A spokesperson for First Borders said: "We appreciate this will be unwelcome news for our customers, however our operations in the area have not been viable for a number of years.

"Despite working hard to turn the business around, insufficient passenger demand, the continuing challenging economy and strong competition in places have all contributed to the proposed withdrawal from East Lothian, which may also lead to the withdrawal of a number of services in the Borders.

"Our proposal is very much based on sustaining the wider business, including operations in other parts of the Borders.

"We have already met with SBC to discuss bus provision in the area and no decisions will be taken until we have completed a full and detailed consultation, including with our staff and the trade union."

More on this story