Kelty petition launched on Victoria bus links
Published 20 Apr 2012 08:48 2 Comments
THE people of Kelty are launching a petition calling for better public bus links with the Victoria Hospital.
Kelty councillor Alex Rowley had raised the issue with NHS Fife and Stagecoach since the centralisation of hospital services in Kirkcaldy but was unimpressed with their responses.
He has now spoken to the community council and other local residents who feel they will have to show the strength of local feeling through a petition.
Mr Rowley had urged Stagecoach to alter the route of the Kirkcaldy bus to go round by the Vic and asked them to look again at running a bus on a Sunday.
He told the Press, "The responses were disappointing and suggested they don't do particularly much for the travel problems facing people here.
"People here, sometimes people in their 70s or 80s visiting elderly relatives on a Sunday, face a four-hour round trip because there is no direct service from Kelty to the Victoria.
"The only other choice for them would be to go by taxi which would be £27 each way I believe."
Mr Rowley had previously called for a re-think on public transport links. He said, "The hospital is remote for people from Kelty and if you do not have a car you will find it very difficult to get to the hospital having to go into the bus station and then get another bus up to the hospital which makes it an even longer journey.
" I am asking that the bus be re-routed to go round by the hospital and that they look again at the time of the last bus to Kelty in the evening".
The councillor is also campaigning for a bus service to Kirkcaldy on a Sunday.
He said, "There is no direct bus from the village on a Sunday and you could spend over two hours each way just getting to visit a loved one or friend, which makes it a very long day.
"I am asking that the bus company consider a service to the hospital in the afternoon and evening on a Sunday after local people told me about the real difficulty of visiting on a Sunday.
"It is sad that people from Kelty can be left without a visitor in the evening or on a Sunday because there is no suitable public transport to and from the hospital.
"It also cannot be that difficult to re-route the bus service coming in and out of Kirkcaldy round by the hospital.
"When people are in hospital it is good for them to have visitors and I would have thought that NHS Fife would have looked at public transport when making a decision to take all our services out of Dunfermline and to what amounts to a housing estate in the middle of Kirkcaldy".
NHS Fife chief executive John Wilson said there were more than 280 bus services to and from the hospital on weekdays, 270 on Saturdays and at least 80 on Sundays.
"Further access improvements are always to be welcomed as and when they can occur," he added, welcoming the imput from Mr Rowley.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach said, "We are more than happy to continue to work with NHS Fife and Fife Council on any travel opportunities for the community, beyond the work that was carried out in the lead up to the new hospital wing being opened.
"At that time we re-routed and revised some 14 bus routes to serve Victoria Hospital directly and ensured that even if a direct link was not possible that connections via Kirkcaldy bus station would offer further links to the site from various towns and villages across Fife."
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Apr 23, 18:56
Apr 25, 20:25
If this hospital is now supposed to be the central/main one of fife then yes there has to be direct bus routes from all areas. Some people have to get three or four different buses just to go there for an appointment which is costing people a absolute fortune. They need to remember alot of people don't drive!
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