One man who relies on public transport was not impressed with new bus services in Galloway introduced in the wake of the sudden demise of James King Coaches, whose trading license was withdrawn by the traffic commissioner on July 11.
Disgruntled passenger John Steven from Garlieston fired off a letter of complaint to the Gazette after being left standing in the rain by one Stagecoach driver.
He wrote: “It appears that the driver of the 16.10hrs Stagecoach 415 from the Isle of Whithorn to Garlieston didn’t have public service on his mind on Saturday, July 19th. After his third attempt to reverse up to St Ninian’s Hall bus stop he simply gave up and drove off on his journey. Waving my arms and shouting made no difference. I was left at the bus top, wet and fed up. I have time to write ‘cos I am in bed with a rotten cold, as the rain was torrential. If the new drivers want welcomed to the area maybe they should improve their service.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach West Scotland said: “We are very sorry to the passenger involved as on this occasion we have not offered the level of quality service we pride ourselves on. This route was previously operated by another company on behalf of the local council. The service was re-tendered at short notice after the company had their licence revoked. Stagecoach was awarded the contract on Thursday 17th July with the first day of operation on Saturday 19th July. This only allowed a very short amount of time to learn the route and many of the drivers were from other depots.
“The car park in question where the passenger was waiting was previously used to turn small mini buses around, however the vehicles used on Saturday were larger and had to turn at the junction.
“We are very sorry for the distress caused and would like to reassure the passenger that we are full committed to providing the best possible experience for all our customers travelling on our services.”