First Bus denies plans to cut rural bus route

First Bus.
First Bus.

First Bus has been quick to deny that it plans to cut one of its services, which is relied upon by residents in rural parts of Midlothian.

It had been reported elsewhere that First Bus was looking to cut the x95 service to three daily journeys from Hawick to Edinburgh.

This sparked fear in Midlothian villages, including North Middleton which relies on this vital bus link. The X95, which also services Birkenside, Newtongrange, Newbattle and Eskbank, was only recently cut from a half-hourly service to hourly.

Moorfoot Community Council secretary Kate Buxton told the Advertiser: “The X95 is the only way in which those without cars can get to work, access medical and dental services and leisure facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and leisure centres, never mind shops, full-sized Post Offices etc.

“In addition, the only way to access the Borders Railway from North Middleton and nearby is by the X95 bus.

“At a time when so many new houses are being built along the A7 corridor, with exhortations from Midlothian Council to use public transport, it is horrifying to think that the one available bus service might be reduced to only three daily journeys.”

A First Scotland East spokesperson said: “We continue to assess the performance of the market in respect of our services, no decisions have been made at this stage.”