Buses in Borders being cut back to skeleton service due to coronavirus

Bus services in the Borders are being cut back further in response to the coronavirus outbreak continuing to spread nationwide.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 1:09 pm
An X95 bus at Mart Street in Hawick.
An X95 bus at Mart Street in Hawick.

Borders Buses is reducing its operations in the region to a skeleton service from tomorrow, March 27, just four days after scrapping 16 services and cutting back more than 20 others.

The only buses it will be running from tomorrow are the 51, 60, 67, 70, H1/H2, X62,X95, 235,B1, 267 and 464, and they will start later and finish earlier, as well as only operating within the Borders.

Services 54, 69, 73, 74, 90A, 90B, 91, 93 and 339 are being axed.

A new demand-responsive service is being introduced, however, to ensure that hospital and care staff reliant on public transport can get to work, along with those needing buses to go shopping for essentials.

It will serve Galashiels, Kelso, Peebles, Selkirk, Jedburgh, Duns, Newcastleton and Hawick.

A spokesperson for the Berwick-based company, part of West Coast Motors, said: “Safety remains our number one priority, and we urge all customers to listen to the UK Government’s extremely important instructions and only travel if essential.

“To deliver a safe and responsible bus service, we shall only operate a number of key routes from Friday.

“A demand-responsive bus service will also be available from this date.

“We recognise bus is for many in our communities the only way to access shops for food, prescriptions and other essentials.

“It also provides a key service for critical and essential workers.

“With this in mind, we are working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and other bus operators to deliver a demand-responsive bus service.

“The demand-responsive service will be an emergency bus service for those customers who have no alternative than to leave the home to visit the shop for essentials such as food and prescriptions and attending or going to work at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose or local care homes.

“In addition, specific journeys will be provided for key workers and NHS staff travelling to the Borders General Hospital.

“This is a new service provision, and we are currently working with all involved and will provide details of how this service will operate and how you can access it later today.”

For further details, go to www.bordersbuses.co.uk