Bus firm Xplore Dundee has made positive noises about its latest service to Edinburgh Airport – but the firm could be under threat from the city council.
Xplore, part of National Express, launched the X90 this week as a link between Dundee and the capital’s airport. The bus runs every 90 minutes from early in the morning until late at night.
A spokeswoman for Xplore Dundee said: “Things are going well with the X90 so far and bookings have increased dramatically since the service actually started.
“Public response has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve also received support from various partners across the city who are welcoming the service as an opportunity for travel, and also for bringing business to Dundee.”
However, Xplore could face competition in the near future – from Dundee City Council itself.
The Holyrood rural economy and connectivity committee has approved amendments to the Transport Bill that could allow Scottish councils to run their own bus services directly, in competition with private firms.
Dundee City Council says it is “monitoring developments” as the bill progresses through parliament. Under the new plans it could create a firm in the same vein as Lothian Buses in Edinburgh – the only publicly-run operator since services were deregulated and sold off during the Thatcher era in the 1980s.
Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman, Colin Smyth MSP, said: “Our amendments to the Transport Bill will allow communities to wrestle control of their bus network away from big business.”
Environmental campaigners have also welcomed the proposals, saying they could lead to lower fares.
About 41.8% of households in Dundee do not own a car, according to census data – one of the lowest ownership rates in Scotland.