Cross-country buses will continue to stop at West Linton and Carlops

A 101 Stagecoach bus heading east through West Linton.
A 101 Stagecoach bus heading east through West Linton.

Council chiefs have confirmed that buses will continue to stop in the Borders on the 101/102 route between Dumfries and Edinburgh.

The service skirts the north west of the Borders, making stops at Carlops and West Linton, but is likely to face significant reduction as Scottish Borders Council is withdrawing nearly £100,000 in funding.

The service is currently jointly funded by the South West of Scotland Transport Partnership (SWestrans), the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Scottish Borders Council and Midlothian Council.

Currently, Scottish Borders Council provides £135,280 a year, with SWestrans providing £113,386, SPT £142,318 and Midlothian Council covering the cost of departure charges at Edinburgh bus station.

Villagers fearful that their communities could be isolated have put together a petition to protest about the cut, and so far it has gathered more than 3,400 signatures.

At Thursday’s full meeting of the council, Tweeddale West councillor Heather Anderson asked: “This petition represents over 31% of the population of the Tweeddale West ward.

“Can the member for roads and infrastructure now advise on the outcome of the tender process for this route and, if cuts to the service have been made, can he honour his earlier promise to undertake a full consultation with people in Tweeddale West about the alternative proposals for the service before August 18, when any reductions to the service will be implemented?”

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the authority’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “The tender process was undertaken by SWestrans for several options, all of which I’m pleased to say will ensure the continuation of bus services between Dumfries, Biggar and Edinburgh.

“The options included up to 12 return journeys a day Monday to Saturday and up to four return journeys on Sundays on the section of the route between, Biggar, West Linton and Edinburgh.

“Prices were received for all options, and I’ll be able to advise councillor Anderson of the outcome of that process after the SWestrans board next meets to discuss the options.”