SCOTTISH Borders Council leaders have confirmed that buses will still stop in the Borders on the route between Dumfries and Edinburgh. 

The 101/102 Dumfries to Edinburgh bus service skirts the north-west of the Scottish Borders, with stops at Carlops and West Linton, but is likely to face significant reduction as Scottish Borders Council is withdrawing nearly £100,000 in funding.

The service is currently jointly funded by the South West of Scotland Transport Partnership (SWestrans), the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Scottish Borders Council and Midlothian Council.

Currently, Scottish Borders Council provides £135,280 a year, with SWestrans providing £113,386, SPT £142,318 and Midlothian Council covering the cost of departure charges at Edinburgh bus station.

Residents who felt their communities could be isolated have authored a petition in protest of the cuts, which so far has gathered over 3,400 signatures.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council on Thursday, councillor Heather Anderson, whose Tweeddale West ward includes West Linton, asked: “This petition represents over 31 percent of the population of the Tweeddale West ward. 

“Can the member for roads and infrastructure now advise on the outcome of the tender process for this route and, if cuts to the service have been made, can he honour his earlier promise to undertake a full consultation with people in Tweeddale West about the alternative proposals for the service before 18 August, when any reductions to the service will be implemented?”

Councillor Gordon Edgar, the executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “The tender process was undertaken by SWestrans for several options, all of which I’m pleased to say will ensure the continuation of bus services between Dumfries, Biggar, and Edinburgh.

“The options included up to 12 return journeys a day, monday to saturday, and up to four return journeys on sundays, on the section of the route between, Biggar, West Linton and Edinburgh. 

“Prices were received for all options, and I’ll be able to advise councillor Anderson of the outcome of that process after the SWestrans board next meets to discuss the options.”