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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

First Bus Route Changes

A few months before the reformation of the Community Council, First Bus announced the amalgamation of their number 5 and 15 routes through Craigiebuckler and Mannofield and Braeside.

The changes caused a great deal of annoyance and frustration in the area and in response to this, Councillor Ross Thomson, Hazlehead/Ashley/Queens Cross wards called a public meeting to air and exchange views and concerns with First Bus Management.

Ross has recently published on the community social web site www.streetlife.com the following update and it is printed in full for information:

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Iam writing to you to provide you with an update following the public meeting that I organised on 21st of October with First Bus regarding the changes to the No:15 route and the removal of the no: 5.

I am pleased to report that the public meeting was very successful with a massive turnout of around 600 people. The feeling of the meeting was overwhelming; it was great to see real people power in action. I know that the high turnout was a huge surprise to First Bus and in my view served as a real reality check.

The momentum from the meeting needs to continue and not fizzle out and we need to ensure that the commitments made by First at the meeting and the suggestions put forward by residents are taken forward.

First made a number of commitments at the meeting including committing to review the changes that they made to the No:15.for Hazlehead/Ashley/Queens Cross

I again met with First Bus Managing Director David Phillips and Commercial Director Daniel Laird on Monday to check in with them on the progress they are making with these commitments. They are looking at a number of things including a mini-bus to serve the community on top of the existing service. They are also continuing to follow up on the commitments they made at the public meeting. There will be another public meeting in the new year and further to this First Bus will be making themselves available during the day at Airyhall Library to discuss any issues or concerns. I will report back on dates and times when it is confirmed.

I am continuing to work with senior Council officers to seriously and realistically look at where the Council can give support to a local service; this is something I am 100% committed to doing. I have met with the Chief Executive, Angela Scott, the Director of Corporate Governance and the Head of Finance to look at the options for supporting,/ funding a service in the community. This work is progressing and I hope to be able to report back at the next public meeting.

I will be organising another public meeting in the New Year, this will allow First Bus to present to residents the findings of their reviews and any changes they have made to the services so that residents can give their comments and feedback. It also ensures that we keep up the pressure on First Bus to address the problem.

I am also pleased that First Bus has now agreed to start attending the local Craigiebuckler and Seafield Community Council and the Braeside and Mannofield Community Council on a quarterly basis. It was wrong that First introduced their service changes without any community consultation, now that they will attend community council meetings means we can prevent this from happening again.

I will continue to campaign and fight hard on this very important issue. I hope that you find my letter helpful. If you have any queries or if I can be of any help to you and your neighbours please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Kind Regards,

Ross
Councillor
01224 346618
07876754618
Rossthomson@aberdeencity.gov.uk

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