Gordon MP Richard Thomson has welcomed the findings of an evaluation by Aberdeenshire Council of the Ready2Go Around Inverurie demand-responsive transport service.
The Ready2Go service was withdrawn last month despite feedback suggesting it was a popular service. The evaluation by Aberdeenshire Council has now confirmed that it averaged 1100 passenger trips per week and appeared to be performing well against policy objectives such as encouraging modal shift away from the car and supporting health and wellbeing objectives.
Flaws in the booking system which led to a lot of expensive extra mileage being incurred are understood to have been central to the decision to withdraw the service.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“The Ready2Go service was very popular in the Inverurie area where it operated and the findings of this study bear this out with 87 per cent of customers preferring it to a timetabled bus service, with a similar number saying Aberdeenshire Council should introduce this type of service in the future.
“The principle here has been established and is sound: people will use demand-responsive transport if it is made available, and will not only do so in numbers but will begin the move from private car to public transport because it is convenient to do so.
“With cuts to local bus services due to kick-in next month as a result of the decision of the Conservative-Lib Dem led council, a workable demand-responsive scheme is needed more than ever, and not just in Inverurie. I hope that the council will look again at this scheme and seek to make the administration of it work.”