Protest at late bus cuts plan

A sit-in protest has been arranged this week to thwart plans to stop evening and Sunday bus services in Galloway.

SNP MSPs Aileen McLeod and Joan McAlpine last week welcomed the news that the Regional Transport Partnership, Swestrans, has agreed to defer making a decision on proposals to cut bus services after 6pm and on Sundays.

This followed a widespread outcry at the proposals on social media.

Aileen McLeod said: “I am pleased that the Swestrans board has decided to take time to look at these proposals further and I hope that the officers and board members will use that time to consider all the options before reaching a decision.

Joan McAlpine added: “The outcry on social media speaks for itself. People are angry and Swestrans need to look at alternatives which will avoid the serious and damaging affects of these proposals.”

Due to the proposals by Swestrans, the region could be witnessing some of its last Sunday and evening buses with negative impacts on the economy, tourism, students, youth and elderly residents.

The Scottish Green Party is asking residents in the region to voice their concerns and speak up for public transport.

The party has organised a Sit-In on Sunday, March 20 which will include the 500 service at 10.20am to Castle Douglas, the 501 at 12.40 pm to Dumfries and the 500 Dumfries at 1.52pm to Gatehouse.

The Scottish Greens say they have secured a two week stay of execution, amassed hundreds of signatures from numerous bus routes and heard different people share their stories of the difficulty they will be forced to face if they lose their bus service.

Scottish Greens Infrastructure and Investment spokesperson Beattie-Smith said: “The decision to cut all Sunday and evening bus services will be a devastating blow for many low paid people across Dumfries and Galloway.

“Shift workers like nurses, care workers and those employed in hospitality and tourism will find themselves unable to get to work and in some cases out of a job.”