Anger grows over bus service

Scottish Borders Council are threatening to cut funding for the vital 'lifeline' service.
Scottish Borders Council are threatening to cut funding for the vital 'lifeline' service.

South politicians are at loggerheads over the loss of the 101/102 bus service linking Dumfries and Edinburgh.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC), one of the local authorities covered by the route, looks set to cut funding to the service which passes through its area.

Talks are ongoing about the future of the twin routes with, the contract due for renewal by August.

Both Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell and Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell have been contacted by worried constituents and they say any loss of funding would put greater pressure on other contributors such as Dumfries and Galloway Council.

David Mundell said: “The route spans most of my constituency and I was extremely disappointed to hear that Scottish Borders Council are pulling their funding, putting the whole service in jeopardy. I will raise the issue with Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan and will also ensure all our elected representatives put pressure on the council as well.”

Meanwhile Dumfries and Galloway council leader Elaine Murray has taken issue with comments on the issue that David Mundell made in a regular newspaper column in which he said he was arranging to meet Chief Executive Gavin Stevenson and called on local constituents to write to the council.

In a letter to Mr Mundell, Ms Murray said,:“As you may be aware the bus service is a lifeline for not only those who live in the Dumfries and Galloway Council area but also those of South Lanarkshire, Scottish Borders and Midlothian. As such all of these local authorities have had a funding agreement in place and the management of the service has been co-ordinated between the relevant Transport Partnerships.

Unfortunately, the future of the bus service is under threat after Scottish Borders Council has indicated they will not be continuing funding when the current contract ceases in August this year.

“The 101/102 bus service is under a real threat. I therefore ask that you speak to your colleagues on the Scottish Borders Council and their chief executive. Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to the service. The threat to the service is as a result of a decision by Conservative Councillors.

“I would be grateful if you could speak to them about it and not mislead your constituents who read DnG media publications by insinuating that it was their own council that has failed them by cutting this vital bus service.”

She added: “I am disappointed that David Mundell decides to attack Dumfries and Galloway Council over this decision. When we fully support the bus service David Mundell decides to try and mislead local residents instead of blame his own party who have made it quite clear they would rather cut public transport than save it. I call on David Mundell to apologise for his comments in his column last week and to meet with Scottish Borders Council rather than mislead the public.”