Earlier this week, I mentioned my concerns about the future of the Number 4 bus service in the West End part of its route.
Yesterday, I met with Phil Smith, the new Managing Director of National Express Dundee over the situation and Mr Smith confirmed that, although the 4 service will continue on a revised route going to Dryburgh via Hilltown, National Express Dundee intends to withdraw the West End part of the 4's route (along with the withdrawal of some other services including with the 3/3A and 28S in other parts of Dundee) from August.
I outlined my concerns to the bus company about the effect on many elderly people in the West End. The 4 service provided a lifeline for residents in the Peddie Street/Logie/Scott Street/City Road and Tullideph areas and I am very disappointed that National Express Dundee intends to cut out the West End part of the 4 service.
The 4 service, currently coming along Scott Street, is a very useful service, particularly for the people in the north of the Logie estate. It is also well used by people in the City Road and Pentland/Tullideph/Ancrum areas. Both Logie and Tullideph have a large concentration of Sheltered Housing and the loss of this service in their area will be a really detrimental step.
I also recently met with the council’s Head of Transportation and from that meeting it is clear that the council will try to fill part of the gap through a restricted subsidised service, but it will by no means fully fill the gap caused by the 4’s intended West End demise. The new subsidised service (the 204) will only run every 2 hours on that part of its route which is “hardly compensation” for the loss of the Service 4 in the West End.
At my meeting with Phil Smith yesterday, Mr Smith did give a commitment to monitor closely usage of the 204 service because, if it is well-used, that will be a clear indication that a more frequent commercial service could be viable in the Peddie Street/Scott Street/City Road area of the city in the future. I also raised the decision to reduce the daytime frequency of the Number 5 service in its West End leg from 15 to 20 minutes that I view as a retrograde step. I also suggested an improvement to the 5 route so that it covered the far west end of Perth Road in both directions – currently the area around Clovis Duveau Drive can get the service in the inbound direction only.
It was worthwhile to meet Phil Smith on his return to National Express Dundee, in particular, in order that I could express my concerns about the re-routing of the Number 4 service. I will continue to campaign for a rethink by the bus company on this route change that detrimentally affects many residents in parts of the West End Ward.
Last Friday, I took part in a meeting with Logie residents at the Lime Street sheltered lounge and speaking with residents afterwards, it is very clear that many residents are very concerned indeed at the loss of this bus service. Last night, I met with the Community Spirit Action Group – the residents’ association for the north of the West End Ward, including Pentland, Tullideph and Ancrum – and the group expressed similar concerns. They are to be writing to National Express Dundee about the loss of the 4 service going through the area and I am grateful for their support of this issue.