New town service for Selkirk

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Selkirk has a new town bus service, covering the previously unserved Ladylands area provided by a new 15-seat minibus operated by Scottish Borders Council. It only runs twice per day on Wednesdays.

The bus will leave Market Place at 1050 and 1150 hrs. It will head up The Loan before returning to the town centre via Hillside Terrace and Tower Street. There will be a flat rate fare of £1.30.

Although restricted, the service is an unexpected bonus for residents as SBC recently withdrew unprofitable service 64 from Kelso to Gattonside, Maxton, St Boswells, Bowden and Melrose, which was operated by Munro of Jedburgh. The council has decided to step into the breach with the so-called Eildon Explorer bus and now the villages of Lilliesleaf and Midlem, which have no public transport service, are also set to benefit.

The Irisbus Daily has a wheelchair lift and distinctive yellow livery. It will run two limited weekday services: from Newtown to Galashiels, via Bowden, Lilliesleaf, Midlem (on request), Melrose and Gattonside (service 963); and from Rutherford to Gattonside via Maxton, Newtown, Bowden and Melrose (service 964).

But on Wednesdays only, the bus will be used for a morning shopping service from Newtown to Hawick, via Bowden, Lillisleaf, Midlem and Selkirk (1010 hrs), returning in the afternoon. It is during the downtime that the new town service in Selkirk will operate.

“This service has been a longstanding request of residents and we have been able to include it in our revised package of bus services around the Eildons,” said John Dellow of SBC’s passenger transport section.

“It will be ideal for residents from this populous part of Selkirk to plan shopping trips to the town without having to walk or take their cars,” he added.

Timetable leaflets for the Eildon Explorer services are now available.

“This is a different way of providing bus services for residents of some our villages where there are few regular bus passengers,” said Cllr Jim Fullarton, SBC’s executive member for transport.

“We have tried to tailor the journeys to meet their needs, but if residents feel there are any gaps in the level of service they should contact our passenger transport section who will be closely monitoring the operation.”