Bus users set to be deprived of a “lifeline” service next month have been given a reprieve after an operator offered to redirect one of its existing routes.
Xplore Dundee is set to redirect its service 4 to include an area of Magdalen Yard Road currently served by the 204, which is being axed next month.
The changes, set to come into effect on August 12 pending the Traffic Commissioner’s approval, will involve service 4 travelling along Roseangle, Magdalen Yard Road and Windsor Street.
Xplore says this will provide an hourly service to those living at the foot of the steep hills that link Magdalen Green and Perth Road.
Managing director Christine McGlasson said: “The bus connects many elderly residents with shops, healthcare and a social life. I hope they will find our service 4 a suitable replacement for the 204 so they can continue to get out and about.”
West End Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson, who has rejected the council’s offer of a replacement minibus, still believes that a replacement to the 204 must be found.
He said: “Xplore Dundee deserves real credit for stepping in to help the mainly elderly folk in the eastern part of the 204 route.
“My previous comments about the unsuitability of the Blether Bus stand. I want all the 204 users to have access to a real bus – not a council bus that has no low floor for disabled passengers.”
Mr Macpherson added that he believes the Blether Bus may contravene equality laws under legislation applying to “public service vehicles”. He has written to the council with his concerns.
Dundee City Council has refused to say whether it believes the vehicle is exempt from the rules.
A spokesman said: “The head of democratic and legal services will respond directly to Bailie Macpherson in due course.”
The final consultation on the Blether Bus takes place at the Corso Street sheltered housing complex at 10am-noon tomorrow.
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The Tele contacted the 14 SNP councillors and Lord Provost Ian Borthwick – all of whom voted to axe the 204 – to ask if they had used the service after locals asked them to do so. None have responded.