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Petition calls for return of hourly buses

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By Euan Maxwell
Annan and Eskdale
Petition calls for return of hourly buses

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to return the number of buses running through Eskdale to pre-Covid levels.

Before the pandemic, Borders Buses’ X95 service, which travels from Galashiels to Carlisle and picks up passengers in Langholm and Canonbie on the way, was running hourly.

But as restrictions were introduced in March last year, this was reduced to every two hours.

And it’s now understood that the operator plans to keep the service at a reduced level permanently.

In a bid to have this decision reversed and reinstate the pre-pandemic timetable, Canonbie resident Anita Baptist has launched an online petition.

She said: “The service serves many small towns and rural villages. This reduced service will affect the job prospects and quality of life of many many people, as well as hinder any regeneration that is hoped for the involved areas.

“For many this is the only form of transport they have. And it is a vital lifeline for the communities that it serves. Please help us get our voice hear to return the hourly bus service to what it was pre-Covid.”

So far, more than 120 people have added their signatures online.

One signatory, Jennifer Davie, said her mother “relies on this service” and was unable to travel to Canonbie recently for her booster jab “because of the time she’d have to wait for the bus back”.

Pamela Stocker added: “This is a much needed service for the rural community, there’s no other way to get to work, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Hawick etc.”

And Susan Welly wrote: “We need this bus service.”

Furthermore, around 100 signatures have been added to physical petitions in Canonbie Post Office and Langholm Londis.

Borders Buses was approached for comment.

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