Thursday, 9 July 2009

Meeting with Travel Dundee

As I alluded to in last night's blog update, I had a meeting yesterday with the Managing Director of National Express Dundee (Travel Dundee). It was extremely useful, with the bus company appreciating the points I made concerning bus services in the West End and expressing a willingness to maintain a dialogue over ways in which services might be improved there in the future.

I had requested to meet with Lawrence Davie, Managing Director of the bus company, given complaints from many of his constituents about some aspects of the impending bus changes to be introduced by Travel Dundee on 16th August. Although there are positive aspects to the changes – for example the timing of the 2S St John’s High School bus was to be improved to fit better with the start of the school day – I have received many concerns from residents about a reduction in the 9X service and also regarding the reduction in the 22 evening service the bus company is proposing.

The reduction in the 9X service whereby the current 30 minute service across the West End leg being reduced to hourly has rightly been viewed with concern and disappointment by constituents in the parts of the West End affected. Although the bus company is introducing the new 8X service with the spare capacity resulting from a poorer 9X service, as this will go along Riverside Drive to the Technology Park and Ninewells Hospital, it will really only benefit passengers in the east of the city, with no real benefit for West End residents.

If you add the reduction of the 9X service to the recent Stagecoach changes, there’s a real gap in services compared to those available in the past, and the bus company yesterday did give me an assurance that the 9X situation was being kept under review to see what might be possible by way of improving services in this part of the West End, hopefully by the Spring of next year.

The bus company also indicated that it was considering improvements to the Number 2 service, hopefully towards the end of 2009. This would be of real benefit to constituents in the areas around Perth Road east of Sinderins, Hawkhill, Scott Street, Pentland and City Road, so I would greatly welcome any improvement to that particular service.

I will be maintaining a regular dialogue with the bus company and with Stagecoach Strathtay as I am anxious to see improvements in bus provision in the West End. I am also keen that constituents use the services as the bus companies have made clear that increased demand and usage of services made improvements to services more likely.