The future of public transport in Dundee still “isn’t good news” for the city’s pensioners.
That according to Dundee Pensioners’ Forum, which has called on Xplore Dundee to further reverse ‘significant’ cuts proposed to bus services, due to take effect next month.
The bus company recently unveiled proposals aimed at providing a “simpler, more efficient” service for the city.
Forum representatives met with Dundee City Council and Xplore Dundee to stress the detrimental impact some proposals would have.
Dorothy McHugh, secretary said: “We heard from Xplore that some ‘tweaks’ to the original plan had already been agreed following communication from individuals and community representatives – and for that we are grateful.
“The Pensioners’ Forum appreciate the bus company need to make decisions on a commercial basis to protect the future viability of their business – and this is where the conflict lies – a commercial company providing a public service. ”
Dorothy has also called for an extension to the 28-day consultation period due to Covid-19 restrictions.
She added: “Xplore have shared with us their draft proposals for ‘infill’ services to be funded by Dundee City Council – and some of these will lessen the impact of service cuts included in their redesign plan – but the onus is then passed to the city council to find funding for these services at a time of difficult budget constraints.
“None of the above is good news for older people and others who rely on a regular bus services. Nor is it good news for the greener, cleaner future that we all want. If we are to be enticed from our cars on to public transport, the service needs to be efficient, cost effective, and serve the needs of the community.”
A spokesman for Xplore said the company shared concerns raised by Dundee Pensioners’ Forum on ensuring a green recovery from the pandemic.
He added: “Our redesign of the network has been planned with this at the forefront of our minds. We believe that a simpler, more efficient network – along with continued investment in a low and zero emission fleet – will make bus the first choice of more people in Dundee, as well as providing the best service possible for those who have no other means of transport.”
Xplore Dundee confirmed the consultation had resulted in a number of adjustments to the planned network changes in January.
“We’ve been able to make some improvements based on feedback from the Pensioners’ Forum and other community groups, Dundee City Council and our own drivers,” he added.
“We welcome input from our customers and all comments are taken into consideration to help us continually improve our service.”