Stagecoach on the seashore

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Following the nomination of its route 35 for two awards at the 2020 Scottish Transport Awards, Jonathan Welch visited Stagecoach Bluebird’s Macduff depot which operates the service

Situated on the north coast of Aberdeenshire, the small Stagecoach depot at Macduff is one of many smaller depots across the country which goes about its day to day business with little fuss. The coastal depot has seen its profile raised with the announcement of nominations for this year’s Scottish Transport Awards; Macduff is responsible for the buses used on Stagecoach Bluebird’s route 35, which received nominations for Best Bus Route and Contribution to Sustainable Transport thanks to the investment made in a fleet of new double-deckers. What’s more, the depot has some of the best GreenRoad driver scores in the country thanks to the efforts of its drivers and especially GreenRoad Champion Fiona Pattinson.

It seemed an appropriate time therefore to venture north to the small town of Macduff, around 75 miles east of Inverness and 45 miles north of Aberdeen on the Buchan coast. It sits on the east side of the mouth of the River Deveron, which is spanned by a seven-arched bridge leading to Banff on the far bank. The river gives its name to another local operator, Deveron Coaches, whose depot is just a few yards east of Stagecoach’s premises. It is no exaggeration to say that both depots sit on the very edge of the sea, the rear wall of the depot being effectively the sea wall, with little but water beyond.

Stagecoach Bluebird has been making steady progress on repainting and refreshing its fleet, as evidenced by Macduff’s 36068. JONATHAN WELCH

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