Use it, or lose it call to community

The first shuttle bus service ready to leave Braemar for Ballater on Sunday
The first shuttle bus service ready to leave Braemar for Ballater on Sunday

A “use it or lose it” campaign is under way to support a Sunday bus service in Upper Deeside.

Braemar Tourism Group is urging people to utilise the free 901 shuttle bus.

It has been laid on by Stagecoach following the community’s petition asking for a short-term reprieve to the planned withdrawal of the council-supported 201 Sunday service between Braemar and Ballater.

Campaigners, who have highlighted huge investment in the village, gathered to see the first bus set off for Ballater.

It operates seven times between the communities and runs until September, when it will be reviewed.

Tourism group chair Julian Fennema said: “Braemar is absolutely buzzing and we want to encourage people to leave their cars at home and hop on the bus up here, whether they are coming for lunch, for the weekend, to walk or cycle or just to browse. As an added incentive, it’s free of charge for the next few weeks.”

Local Councillor Geva Blackett added: “We have a completely new and unique offering here and people are fascinated, which is fantastic because Braemar has always welcomed visitors.

“But with low cost housing hard to find in the village, businesses need to recruit staff from outwith the immediate area who, particularly if they are young, may depend on public transport to get to and from work on Sundays – they need the bus.”