Bus services linking several communities throughout Dundee could soon be a reality under new plans from the city council.
The local authority has posted a new tender on Scotland’s public contracts forum worth £360,000 and is accepting bids from bus companies to run two new subsidised services.
Draft timetables suggest one route would run hourly, clockwise and anti-clockwise, from 10.30am to 6.30pm on Sundays, and 6.30pm through to 11pm for the rest of the week.
Subsidised services are often funded by local authorities when the routes are needed, especially by elderly people, but have little commercial benefit and hence are often overlooked by private firms.
The subsidised service will run for one year, and could be extended for up to three years, and the contract stipulates that a bus with a minimum of 21 seats is needed.
One of the routes covers Ninewells, Charleston, Menzieshill, Ardler, Kirkton, Fintry, Whitfield, Douglas and the Ferry.
The other follows a route similar to the 9 and 10 services operated by Xplore Dundee, running along the southern edge of the city before cutting through the Technology Park and following the same route as the other service.
Earlier this year, Xplore announced a number of changes were set to affect the 9 and 10 – including cutting the Technology Park from the routes.
It is thought these subsidised routes could be a response to the changes – which are yet to come into effect – in an attempt by Dundee City Council to minimise disruption to passengers.
Dorothy McHugh, secretary for Dundee Pensioners’ Forum, said: “We wonder whether this new proposal is in response to Xplore’s planned changes – but we understood that Xplore had postponed making these changes until a new consultation has taken place at the start of next year.
“We are trying to get clarification on this from the city council.”
Linda Groat, who lives just off the western edge of Perth Road and has previously criticised changes to bus routes in her area, says the proposed subsidy routes “do not go far enough”.
Linda, 51, who has multiple sclerosis, said: “We used to have services like the 5 and the Stagecoach 16 pass by here but now there’s nothing.
“I can’t bring home shopping or anything because the nearest stop is a third of a mile away and I can’t carry bags that distance.
“Why a service can’t pick us up, even to let us change at Ninewells, I don’t know, it would give them extra fares. It’s like we’ve been shunned.”