Canada Hill bus route faces the axe

SENIOR members of Argyll and Bute Council were due to vote this week on a recommendation to end financial support for the summer-only bus service serving Canada Hill.

The proposal, being considered by the authority’s executive as this issue went on sale on Thursday morning, would see the 488 route, currently operated by West Coast Motors, reduced to a single journey in each direction on schooldays only.

The Canada Hill route is one of several across Argyll and Bute being considered for the axe due to low passenger numbers, following a cut of 62 per cent in the budget for discretionary funding of rural and public transport.

The current timetable, which began on March 25, offers three journeys a day from Monday to Saturday on the circular route via the Victoria Annexe, the Bush, Roseland caravan park, Canada Hill, Ardencraig Road, Crichton Road and Fauldtrees Road.

That was reduced last summer from four journeys a day due to low passenger numbers.

High Craigmore resident Anne Cooley, who has written a light-hearted letter to this week’s issue on the subject (see page 4), told us she used the Canada Hill bus nearly every day.

“I can’t get down to the town centre without the bus service,” Anne told us.

“Other parts of Rothesay get a bus every half an hour during the day. Surely that’s not fair. I just want to appeal to people to use the service – once it’s taken off I don’t think it’s going to come back.”

According to background papers for Thursday’s meeting, the route currently receives £5,072.94 in discretionary funding support.

Also recommended for withdrawal at Thursday’s meeting is £6,182.46 in support for a ‘summer Sundays only’ bus between Rothesay and Dunoon; other Rothesay-Dunoon journeys will not be affected.

A spokesperson for the council told us that if the executive approved the recommendations, the Canada Hill service would probably be withdrawn some time in June.