Bus services to St Abbs about to change next week

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Perryman’s buses has spent £500,000 on new vehicles in East Lothian and the Borders, but changes to certain routes north of Berwick are causing concern.

Last month, there were complaints about the 253 service between Berwick and Edinburgh as a number of the buses were no longer scheduled to use the Innerwick, Thurston Manor and Crowhill loop, the nearest stop for them being on the A1.

Sharon Morrison, of Perryman’s parent company, West Coast Motors, said: “We are committed to operating a reliable and frequent bus service in the area and are continuing to invest in the service.

“We have invested £500,000 in the Borders and East Lothian routes since August this year.

“We are committed to working with the local community, and when I attended East Lothian Bus Forum a couple of weeks ago, I stressed that we are keen to attend community council meetings and have a dialogue with communities about the services we operate.”

The latest complaint is the reduction of the weekday 235 service between Berwick and St Abbs.

There are currently 13 buses travelling that route on a daily basis, but from Monday, December 12 that number will be reduced to nine.

On the plus side, however, Perrryman’s says that some of their new buses will be used on the route.

The hourly Sunday service is reduced to a bus every 90 minutes.

A disgruntled passenger said: “While passengers between Berwick and Coldingham can also use Perryman’s Edinburgh service, those travelling to and from St Abbs are faced with three-hour gaps in the timetable.

“For example, there is no weekday bus from Berwick to St Abbs between 2.30pm and 5.30pm, and no bus from St Abbs to Berwick between 3.15pm and 6.15pm.”

Ms Morrison explained: “The 235 service does not have a high frequency of passengers, and we had to curtail the service.

“We have to look at which areas there is a high frequency in, and as far as St Abbs is concerned, we have had to drop the frequency.

“Any changes are done by analytical data.”

Again Ms Morrison stressed: “We are more than happy to speak to people concerned about the changes.”