Passengers in Peebles calling for bus service cuts to be reversed

Bus passengers in Peeblesshire claim they have been left cut off since a service was scaled down during the Covid-19 lockdown and they’re now calling for it to be restored.

The X62 Peebles service leaving Galashiels Interchange.
The X62 Peebles service leaving Galashiels Interchange.

A petition has been launched calling on Borders Buses to add later evening services on a trial basis initially to assess demand for the X62 route.

The petitioners are unhappy that they can no longer get to and from Edinburgh at night.

The last bus from Peebles to Edinburgh is now at 5.40pm and the last bus leaving the capital’s Waterloo Place is at 7.15pm.

Lead petitioner Simon Ritchie, of Peebles, says that is unacceptable and, despite praising Border Buses for its approach during the pandemic, wants to see a U-turn.

He said: “We are increasingly concerned at the lack of evening connections, and that’s why we’ve started this petition.

“Peebles is cut off in the evenings if you don’t have a car. That was understandable during the full lockdown, but now we are in phase three of lockdown easing.

“Galashiels folk can head into Edinburgh for work or leisure and return around midnight, but that option just isn’t there for Peebles folk.

“All we are asking for is a trial of later services. If it’s well advertised, I am quite confident people will use it.”

However, a spokesperson for Borders Buses has ruled out any imminent restoration of services, saying there is insufficient demand as yet.

She added: “Throughout this pandemic, we have continued to keep our communities moving, sensibly and safely increasing service levels as and when more people step back out.

“Unfortunately, due to the current climate, we are not in a position to resume all routes to pre-Covid 19 levels. The demand is simply not there.

“Our bus network is designed around customer demand, and we welcome and encourage all feedback. Based on Simon’s petition, we will soon issue a customer survey to better understand customer travel requirements.”

His petition can be found online at www.change.org/BordersBusesX62