No doubles yet for school buses

Controversial plans to use double decker buses for school runs have been delayed because the road is not ready yet.

Parents in Kilcreggan, Cove and Ardpeaton whose children attend Hermitage Academy had expected a double decker to appear when the new term started yesterday.

Instead there were two single-deck coaches – these were running late initially but Argyll and Bute Council said pupils arrived on time at the school in Helensburgh.

Safety fears were voiced by parents when the Helensburgh Advertiser revealed last month that double deckers woud be used for the fist time on this route by operators Garelochhead Coaches.

The firm won back the contract following a long legal battle last year after losing it to Dumbarton-based McColls.

The plans to use a double deck bus as a cost-saving measure meant that council staff had to clear overhead branches on the B833 lochside road.

The work started before Christmas and was still going on last weekend; the council’s head of facility services, Malcolm MacFadyen said this would be paid for by the council rather than the operator but the cost is not yet known as the work is ongoing.

“This is work that was due to be carried out in any event but was prioritised due to the intention of the new school transport operator to use a double deck bus on the route,” he added.

“As the work is not yet finished, the operator has decided to use single decker buses until the route has been fully cleared.”

Red and white tape on the roadside indicated where work had to be carried out.

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