The timetable changes come following an extensive review of travel patterns, as well as the feedback received from the public consultations and online submissions.
The new timetables will be in place from October 31 and are now available to download at www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates
Daniel Laird (Commercial Director) said: “I’m pleased to confirm our finalised timetables which will come into operation on 31st October. The new timetables reflect how travel patterns have changed across parts of the region since 2020, and are designed to provide a more reliable and consistent service for our customers.
We are grateful for all the feedback provided by our customers and other stakeholders during the consultation process. This valuable feedback has allowed us to make several adjustments and improvements to our original proposals to better meet the needs of our customers.”
Full details of the confirmed changes:
In the West of Aberdeenshire, services between Inverurie and Aberdeen will offer two fast journeys per hour; one on service 10 (operating direct to ARI and the city centre) and one on new service 9 (also serving Blackburn as well as ARI and the city centre).
Service 9 effectively replaces the additional journeys on service 10 operating between Inverurie and Aberdeen, which were introduced in 2020.
Service 37 will operate between Inverurie and Kintore only, with additional stops at Kintore Railway Station to allow customers to connect to rail services.
Kintore will maintain a direct connection to Aberdeen via a revised service X20 (Alford-Kemnay-Blackburn-Aberdeen), which will offer faster journeys into the city centre via Hilton and Westburn. The section of route covering Berryden Retail Park will be withdrawn due to very low usage.
Services in Alford and Kemnay will operate as X20, connecting with Blackburn and Aberdeen via the faster route described above. This will provide a faster, more consistent service for these communities, with the removal of stopping restrictions previously enforced on certain journeys. The link between Blackburn and Kemnay has been retained on service X20, following feedback from customers and other stakeholders during the consultation.
Regrettably, service 22 (Inverurie town service) will be withdrawn. This service previously operated under contract to Aberdeenshire Council, but was replaced by the Ready2Go Demand Responsive service in August 2021. Stagecoach Bluebird agreed to continue operating a more limited timetable on service 22 as a trial following customer feedback. However, it is clear that passenger numbers on service 22 cannot cover the costs of operation, which is no longer sustainable. Customers will still be able to travel on the Ready2Go service or alternative Stagecoach services.
There are also minor changes to services 41 (Inverurie-Insch) and 422 (Alford-Insch).
Stagecoach have refined the timetable for services 4, 5 and 6 to offer faster and more consistent journey times for all customers. The biggest benefit will be seen by customers travelling from Kingswells Park & Ride, with journey times to the city centre of just 27 minutes through the day. Some djustments to early morning and late evening services, as well as those serving Prime Four and TotalEnergies to reflect customer demand are also being proposed.