Hawick, Denholm and Burnfoot community councils are to petition Scottish Borders Council over proposals to cut the 120 bus service, writes Colin Purvis.
The council looks likely to axe the service in August and this week a Hawick News source confirmed that SBC bosses will do so because there is no spare cash to finance the £130,000 First Bus route.
But the three local community councils have other ideas, and according to Marion Short, the Hawick group’s chairwoman, SBC has a fight on its hands.
In a statement to the Hawick News, Mrs Short said: “Petitions for the retention of the 120 Kelso/Jedburgh bus have now been circulated to six outlets, namely Libby’s Pet Shop, Salvation Army store, The Flower Pot, ILF Imaging, Green Hut in Weensland Road and Hamish Smith’s.”
Mrs Short is appealing for townsfolk to sign the petition, saying: “I would urge any residents who feel strongly about the withdrawal of this bus service to sign the petition.
“Similar petitions are ongoing in Denholm and have been circulated to Kelso CC and Burnfoot CC.
“I’ve been made aware of folks who work in Jedburgh and see the retention of their employment as no longer viable after the proposed date of withdrawal, given the travelling constraints, and also have taken on board the proposed cut-off of Denholm from any public transport and the need for the service for Hawick residents who live at the bottom end of Weensland.
Mrs Short added: “Furthermore, when I was delivering these petitions yesterday the common point was that ‘Well, we lost out on the railway now they [SBC] are trying to cut us off in Hawick completely by withdrawing this bus service.”
Burnfoot Community Council chairman Michael Grieve added: “A lot of folk in Hawick don’t own cars and the possibility of losing this service is just totally crazy. I’ll be circulating the petition and getting as many people to sign it as possible.”
Denholm council chairman Will Roberts said: “We are being inundated with comments from people who will be affected if this route is cut, not just from a domestic viewpoint but also from folk who will be cut off as far as work and school are concerned. This community will suffer hugely if this route is cut.”