Sunday 9 August 2015

Bus changes affecting the West End

There will be changes to National Express Dundee bus services from Sunday 13th September (and the company will be rebranding locally as Xplore Dundee this autumn too).

I am grateful to Suzy Scott of for the detailed breakdown below (in which I highlight only the changes as they affect the West End) - these are now in the public domain, having been published by the Traffic Commissioners in their weekly Notices and Proceedings.

There are significant changes across the city but the changes that particularly impact on the West End are as follows :

Service 5, X5 - Ninewells Hospital to Balgillo (and Outer Circle between these places) :

•        A revised timetable, with all buses running as Service 5. 

•        All buses will run to and from Ninewells Hospital via Perth Road and Tom McDonald Avenue. Technology Park to be served by the Outer Circle, with Gowrie Park served by the 29.    Please see my comments below about the negative impact on the very far west part of Perth Road.

•        The daytime service of every 7-8 minutes during the day (some as Outer Circle) Monday to Saturdays continues, with buses doubled between the City Centre and Ninewells Hospital, as almost all buses will now run through. 

•        Sundays will have two buses an hour from Ninewells Hospital to City Centre, with four buses an hour from City Centre to Balgillo.   Evening service is part of revised Services 9A/10A.

Services 9-12 Outer Circle :

Service much simplified, with buses now showing 9 Clockwise Mon-Sat daytimes, 9A Mon-Sat evenings and Sundays, 10 Anti-Clockwise Mon-Sat daytimes, 10A Mon-Sat evenings and Sundays.   Two morning buses will continue to by-pass Douglas as Service 9C. Monday-Saturday services will be every half hour, with a Sunday half-hourly service between Ninewells and Balgillo, and hourly elsewhere on the route.

Between City Centre and Ninewells Hospital, buses will operate direct along Perth Road and Tom McDonald Avenue.    Blackness Avenue, Balgay Park, Pentland Avenue and City Road will now be served by Service 17, and also served by Services 51, 203 and 204. Glamis Road and Elmwood Road will still be covered by Services 204A and 205. 

Services 15, 17 Whitfield to Technology Park :

Between City Centre and The Friary, Service 17 is rerouted via Perth Road, Sinderins, Blackness Avenue, City Road, and onto Tullideph Road.   This replaces the Outer Circle section between Sinderins & The Friary.

Most daytime buses on the 17 will now terminate at Ninewells Hospital, with some peak time buses extended to Medipark and Technology Park. Gowrie Park will now be covered by Service 29 all day, while the off peak buses to the Technology Park will be provided by the Outer Circle.

Service 17 will run every half hour on evenings and Sundays, as now, thus then providing more buses to Blackness Avenue and Pentland Avenue.

Services 28, 29 Douglas to Charleston :

Service 29 no longer serves Asda Myrekirk Road.  Service 28 will continue to do so.   No effect on West End part of the route (Lochee Road).

Bus times are now standardised, Monday to Friday, at the same times.   Service will be gradually converted to only double deck buses.

Commentary :   There are clearly significant changes for the West End (and, indeed, across the city).   In particular, the 9/10 service no longer serving Blackness, Pentland, Tullideph areas but instead going right along Perth Road as far as Tom McDonald Avenue;  the 17 no longer serving the Lochee Road area but instead picking up the Blackness, Pentland, Tullideph areas that the 9/10 used to serve, and the 5 no longer serving the very far west end of Perth Road west of the roundabout at the bottom of Ninewells Avenue.   The latter area will continue to the served by the hourly Stagecoach 16 service.

Prior to the changes becoming public with the submission to the Traffic Commissioners, I met with the Managing Director of National Express Dundee and with the company's Operations Manager, to discuss the proposals.    

Many of the changes across the city are positive with increased frequencies and simplified timetables.     However, some of the changes are disappointing - back in 2012, I organised a petition (that hundreds signed) against the removal of Service 5 from the far west part of Perth Road and the Technology Park - a decision that was thankfully reversed - so it is disappointing to see the areas around Millbay Terrace, Millbay Gardens, Clovis Duveau Drive and the far west of Perth Road losing National Express Dundee services (although the Stagecoach 16 service will continue to cover the area).

There are also changes to the timetable for the X7 hospital bus service (between Royal Victoria Hospital, Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary) from 17th August.  You can download the new timetable here.