Council’s 120 bus petition

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Hawick Community Council handed in its 120 bus petition to Scottish Borders Council earlier this month.

The petition, started by council chairwoman Marion Short, was delivered to SBC’s petitions committee by Community Councillor Andy Maybury. The Hawick News broke the story of the intended Denholm, Jedburgh and Kelso route closure in July and the final review will not take place until March.

And following a council rethink earlier this year, a limited service on the heavily SBC-subsidised route was introduced.

Speaking to the petitions committee, Mr Maybury explained: “The petition had grown out of a number of concerns, some general and some specific to the bus service about which the petition referred. He challenged an often-expressed view that people must have a car to survive in the Borders, maintaining that 85-90 per cent of the population of the Scottish Borders lived within major settlements but 20 per cent of households did not have a car.”

Mr Maybury pointed out that for a few people the service was their only option for means of travel to work, school and hospital and health centre appointments.

He said he was aware, and accepted, that the provision of bus services was not a statutory service for the Scottish Borders Council and that there had to be a judgement in terms of what services could be offered on a limited budget.