THERE'S no way in or out of Baldridgeburn by public transport after the 84 bus service stops running – and the issue is set to be raised in the Scottish Parliament.

Dunfermline North councillor Gordon Pryde said it's become an "isolated" community and the city's MSP, Shirley-Anne Somerville, will seek answers from the Scottish Transport Secretary at Holyrood.   

She said: “A reliable and efficient local bus service network can ensure that people have access to essential services, education, employment and social opportunities.

“Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case in Baldridgeburn or in several other communities in the Dunfermline and West Fife area.

Dunfermline Press: Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville delivering copies of her survey to households in the Baldridgeburn area.Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville delivering copies of her survey to households in the Baldridgeburn area. (Image: Newsquest)

"My recent survey revealed a clear desire for better local bus services, and I am fully committed to advocating for the improvements residents deserve.” 

Stagecoach pulled the plug on the 84 bus service this time last year and Fife Council stepped in and subsidised the route to keep it in operation hourly from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. 

Although a poor service is better than no service, Ms Somerville found that the vast majority of the residents don’t feel the current schedule meets their needs or expectations. 

She surveyed locals after growing concern that people were unable to get to work on time or visit relatives due to bus reliability issues and timetable gaps. 

Cllr Pryde was not at all surprised by the results of the survey and said:  “I have contact from a number of local residents who have a number of concerns about the 84 service – or lack of service – in the Baldridgeburn area.

“The problem with buses and bus services is that they are run by commercial operators – Fife Council have no direct control over these commercial routes. 

“There is no public service obligation from commercial operators to provide services in non-profitable areas. There’s a big issue there.

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"It’s not a very good model and something needs to change.” 

Dunfermline Press: Dunfermline North councillor Gordon Pryde wants locals to have more say about bus services.Dunfermline North councillor Gordon Pryde wants locals to have more say about bus services. (Image: Fife Council)

He continued: “It would be much better if the control of the bus services were back in the hands of communities but that’s not what we have.” 

Ms Somerville has secured a meeting with Scottish Transport Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, to discuss issues surrounding local bus services.

She is also looking to collaborate with Fife Council and Stagecoach to investigate what solutions can be found.

“I’m grateful to Fiona Hyslop for agreeing to sit down with me and discuss some of the ideas my team and I have been working on,” she said. 

“Establishing a direct public transport link to Stirling is just one example of the innovative solutions we are exploring to enhance our city’s connectivity.” 

Cllr Pryde added: “In my view, there isn’t enough national priority for local bus services. Bus services have a problem in that the numbers of people using the buses are down significantly compared to a number of years back. 

“But we are living in a time of climate crisis and we do need to be supporting and providing better transport services for the benefit of local people.

“It would be good if the Scottish Government were to put resources back into the local bus services and perhaps legislate a better system of bus franchising to put much more control into the hands of communities to organise their own services and not just leave it for the commercial operators.” 

He said that although there are issues with public transport, the council was doing their best to help communities with more than £750,000 to support and subsidise local bus services.