Midlothian MSP welcomes progress in saving the 101/ 102 bus service

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Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP, Christine Grahame, has welcomed the progress made to save the 101/ 102 bus service.

Ms Grahame (SNP) has responded to the news that SWestrans, Scottish Borders Council and Strathcylde Partnership for Transport have jointly agreed to an extension of the 101/102 bus service under the current arrangements with the existing operator, Stagecoach West Scotland, subject to formal Board and Council approvals.

The service had previously been due to cease on August 14 after SWestrans deemed the new Stagecoach bid for the contract unaffordable due to an 86 per cent increase in cost. This extension will however preserve the service at least until March 31, 2023 while further discussions continue with transport operators and funding partners to secure the long term future of the 101/102.

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Ms Grahame, who has been campaigning to save the service, said: “The 101/102 is a vital service for many communities along the A702 corridor in my constituency, such as West Linton, Ninemileburn and so on, and indeed for many communities along the full length of the route between Dumfries and Edinburgh.

“That is why I’ve been working alongside my MSP colleagues, Emma Harper MSP and Mairi McAllan MSP, to do all we can to have this route saved.

"The grassroots campaign to save this service has been phenomenal, from community groups to local councillors, and I’m relieved to see that it seems to have been rewarded.”

She added: “Whilst I welcome this decision, I think we must now look seriously at how this came to pass and how to avoid this situation in future.

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"This is the second time I’ve had to campaign to save this service, the previous occasion having been in 2018 when Borders Council cut funding for the route from £135k to £35k, and this level of sporadic uncertainty is not acceptable for those who rely on it.”