Plans being put in place to offset Travelsure withdrawal of four bus services between Berwick and East Berwickshire

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A councillor has reassured commuters that gaps in services caused by the axing of four buses are to be plugged.

Northumberland-based bus operator Travelsure has announced it is to cease operation of the services due to a national shortage of drivers.

The services that are affected and will cease on October 24 are as follows :Service 32 – Tweedmouth – Berwick – Paxton – Hutton – Swinton; Service 34 – Tweedmouth – Berwick – Eyemouth – Duns; Service 236 – Ayton – Eyemouth – Berwick; Service 260 – Tweedmouth – Duns.

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As a result Scottish Borders Council has been working with alternative service providers to maintain connectivity across the Berwickshire area and “explore all options available to it”.

Cllr James Anderson.Cllr James Anderson.
Cllr James Anderson.

Now Borders Buses has agreed to step into the breach to protect and even enhance some services, although the specifics are yet to be made public.

Additionally, the county’s Pingo bus service will be utilised as a temporary measure on the 32 Paxton and Swinton circular service at the weekend.

East Berwickshire ward councillor James Anderson said: “We seem to have a real outcome and have managed to improve the services.

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“Borders Buses through SBC are changing the timetable to make sure bus services are replaced to cover everything.

“It may mean a couple of timetable changes but most of the changes are to stop three buses arriving within a 20 minute window.

“There is some good news coming. I wanted to reassure the public that this is going to result in a better service for Berwickshire.”

The 32 service on Saturday and Sunday will be covered by Pingo until new drivers are trained and brought in.

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Councillor Anderson added: “The 60 service from Duns going out to Berwick and Eyemouth, there’s going to be an hourly frequency, so that’s better connection.

“The 235 will have the same number of buses with a slightly altered timetable and the 253, that’s the main one to Edinburgh, is going to be improved down to really clever time-tabling by one of the officers at SBC and Borders Buses.

“Some of the main areas we’ve highlighted are Paxton and Reston, obviously they are out in the sticks.

“They tool information from the Pingo service and re-jigged the timetable so that the peak times and usage are now covered and the services are linked together and will be better supported at the times local people want to use the bus service.

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“It’s all going to be a bit more stream-lined. There may be hiccups by changing the timetables slightly but it’s going to link all the services together.

“For instance, if you want to go to Duns to Paxton House you will no longer need to go to Berwick and back to Paxton, so they’ve ironed out all the crinkles.

“It really is a common sense thing they have done here. Gordon Grant, from SBC, is like a wizard with timetables and he’s really on the ball and I’ve been impressed with the work he’s done on this.”