A DECISION by Scottish Borders Council to pull funding from a rural bus service through Peeblesshire has been met with anger.

And a petition to save the current 101/102 service, which connects Biggar, West Linton and Carlops with both Edinburgh and Dumfries, has already attracted almost 2,000 signatures within its first week.

As revealed in last week's Peeblesshire News the six-times daily service, which is currently operated by Stagecoach, comes up for renewal in August.

But Scottish Borders Council, who are currently in a joint-funding agreement with South Lanarkshire Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Midlothian Council, voted earlier this year to withdraw its share of support.

Stand Up for our Buses was formed five years ago when the same route came under threat from South Lanarkshire Council wanting to reduce its funding.

Janet Moxley co-ordinator of the Stand Up for Our Buses group told us: "As services such as banks, post offices, care homes and doctors' surgeries move out of smaller villages and towns, good public transport links become even more essential.

"This service provides a lifeline for many people in rural Clydesdale and is well used by local passengers, commuters, long distance travellers.

"We are asking whether Scottish Borders Council have carried out an assessment of how their proposed funding cut will affect disabled people, the elderly and young people who are less likely to have access to a car.

"In 2012, when the contract was last reviewed the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport threatened to cut its funding provision, which provoked outrage, and eventually most of the cuts were averted.

"At a time when Scottish Government have just announced new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, it is bizarre that councils are proposing cuts to public transport provision."

An online petition against the latest threats to the 101/102 service has gathered almost 2,000 signatures since Friday.

And a paper version of the petition is being distributed to local shops along the route.

Local councillor Heather Anderson wants even more people to support the campaign.

She said: "For many people living at this side of the Borders, where public transport links are sparse, this bus service provides a vital lifeline and any reduction in the service has a disproportionate impact.

"We need every one who values public transport and uses this bus to sign the petition now."

This week Tweeddale West's other two councillors, Kris Chapman and Eric Small, joined Councillor Anderson in taking their protest onto the streets.

Councillor Chapman said: "The 101 and 102 are a lifeline to the rural Tweeddale communities and beyond, without this service these rural areas would be completely cut off, forcing many to move or increasing car usage in the area and having a further negative impact on our environment."

Stand Up for Our Buses plans to hold public meetings in West Linton and Biggar in the next few weeks.