Bus service anger vented at meeting

Auchterellon School
Auchterellon School

Parents have stepped up their demands for a halt to the controversial scrapping of a school bus service in Ellon.

A public meeting was held in the town’s Ythan Centre on Monday when Aberdeenshire Council officials and local councillors heard strong calls to maintain the part-subsidsed travel to Ellon and Auchterellon primaries.

The withdrawal of the service, which picks up pupils in the Knockothie and Castlepark areas, has sparked a major row and a petition urging the council to rethink the decision has gathered around 1500 signatures.

The public meeting was organised by mother-of-two Kathleen Lawson, who has mobilised support for the petition.

She said later: “I don’t think we are any further forward. We are looking for simple answers to simple questions and we are not getting them.”

The campaigners are pinning their hopes on a meeting of Formartine Area Committee later this month when a detailed report from officials on the school bus issue will go before councillors.

Parents have criticised the lack of notice and consultation over the changes to the school transport arrangements and warned of a road safety risk because they say there is no safe crossing point.

Monday night’s meeting heard there were two subsidised bus services in Ellon and the one that will continue will be run commercially in future.

Many parents questioned why the savings from this could not be transferred to the school service.

Council officers said they would discuss the covering of the school runs with the operator Kineil, or altering the timetable to take in start and finishing times.