COST-cutting is forcing Munro's of Jedburgh to axe eight journeys from its subsidised bus route between Jedburgh and Kelso to Edinburgh from next month.
As of Monday, November 2, a reduced service will run between the two Borders towns to the capital. Munro’s secured the contract for the route from Scottish Borders Council last year.
As a result, the 51/52 service timetable will see the last bus leave Kelso or Jedburgh for Edinburgh on weekdays at 5.15pm.
Likewise, two evening routes from Edinburgh to Jedburgh, Monday to Friday, will be withdrawn, while passengers on Saturdays will lose two early morning routes and Sundays will no longer have two evening buses.
It was feared the route could have been scrapped all together during the summer as councillors looked to save money, but it has been decided to save the service, albeit in a reduced capacity.
An SBC spokesperson said: “The cut of eight journeys is a direct result of Scottish Borders Council re-tendering the Jedburgh and Kelso to Edinburgh (services 51/52) contracts last year.
“All bus operators were invited to tender but unfortunately prices to run the service were significantly higher than before.
“Councillors have considered a number of measures over the past year to find the additional funding.
“This summer they agreed a raft of cut backs which included reducing the frequency of the 51/52. It was decided that it was better to provide the service with reduced number of journeys than no service at all.”
Munro’s will also reduce their service from Galashiels to Lauder and Jedburgh but will add a new route between Lauder and Dalkeith.
Earlier this month, depute leader and executive member for finance, Neil Calvert, told fellow councillors that SBC would be prepared to lend money to private companies in the future after they admitted providing Munro’s with an emergency 50,000 loan in 2007.
Full details of the new timetables can be seen at www.munrosofjedburgh.co.uk