Parents’ campaign saves threatened bus route
Planned bus cuts between Perth and Stirling would have been a disaster for children using the service to get to school, so Krissy Scott got together with some other concerned parents and managed to stop it from happening. Krissy has written a blog for us about the experience.
I’m Krissy and I live in central Scotland with my husband and three teenagers. We live in a wee hamlet called Braco, a sleepy hollow in Perthshire. Whilst we do own a car, our kids depend on public transport very heavily.
We heard from a local dog walker that Stagecoach were planning to cut the 15A bus service which goes through Braco – we wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for them.
All three of our children use the Stagecoach buses every day to get to school in Dunblane and college in Perth, so we were really shocked to hear this. This particular service is vital to us as a family, as whilst we are a car owning family, I am a nurse with differing time commitments and the children need their independence. The proposed service changes were going to detrimentally affect my family’s day to day living and it was for this reason that I thought, I must do something!
I checked the Stagecoach website to verify that changes were afoot and to my horror, saw the consultation period was very short to contest any changes.
I knew other local children who depend on the 15A service, so I walked to their homes, alerted them and their parents, and we started a ‘save the bus’ WhatsApp group (rather tongue in cheek!). It transpired that no parent or child knew, all were horrified and came on board.
To get things going, I called Stagecoach who said it was a lack of drivers that was the problem. They urged me to email them with my concerns which I duly did, as did everyone on the ‘save the bus’ WhatsApp group.
I decided to start a change.org petition to save the 15A bus and it soon garnered nearly 400 signatures! I hadn’t a clue how to start a petition but gave it a go, and lo and behold, social media got hold of it and off it soared. Unbeknownst to me, the 15A is a crucial service to many – not just those going to school – so the petition was well received and supported. I’m grateful for every signature.
The group put our heads together and contacted local MSPs, community councils, the schools, and their parent councils. Newspapers took an interest in the story too which helped to raise the profile of the problem.
Not long after the short consultation period closed we were delighted to hear that the 15A bus service that’s used for school children has been saved! The rest, we do not know as yet, but it’s going to make a big difference for everyone who uses the bus for commuting.
We couldn’t quite believe it when we heard the news! The kids are delighted too, although downplaying this for fear of looking happy of course.
If any other communities are threatened with removal of important bus services, I would say that even if you feel you have no discernible skill in challenging the status quo, just go for it!
Share your concern, in whatever way you know how, and in doing so, others may just join you! This is what I did and soon, there were lots of concerned people and agencies on board.
I’m really grateful to everyone who got involved and would also like to thank Stagecoach for listening!