INNERLEITHEN Community Council is inviting locals to have their say on plans for a late night minibus taxi service from Galashiels following the withdrawal of the late bus.

A pilot contracted taxi service could be introduced if there is enough demand.

Chairman Marshall Douglas said that Clovenfords Community Council have already set the wheels in motion.

He said: “They have been campaigning for some time to get the night bus looked at.

"The X62 is a commercial route, it’s not subsidised at all. They can’t put on a late night bus if it’s not paying its way.

“The thing they are looking at is setting up a contracted taxi service so that people could maybe go to the cinema or have a meal and come out at a reasonable time, not necessarily pub kicking out time, but a reasonable time in the evening.

Depending on the size and demand Clovenfords councillors are looking into the possibility of a taxi minibus that can hold up to 14 people, which would be contracted and Scottish Borders Council would help facilitate it.

Anyone wanting to use the service would phone and pre-book their seat.

“Clovenfords Community Council want to gauge public opinion on it and see if there is a demand,” added Mr Douglas.

“They are thinking along with maybe Walkerburn and ourselves it could be extended to Innerleithen. Peebles has also expressed an interest.”

Councillor Shona Haslam said: “As a parent who often has to pick children up from the cinema in Gala it would be lovely to have this service.”

Councillor Jackie Couchman added: “I haven’t look at the bus timetables lately but there use to be a bus that stopped at Peebles and the bus physically drove on but wouldn’t take passengers beyond Peebles. I remember one resident a number of years ago said he got the bus out of Edinburgh and then he had to get a taxi to Innerleithen whilst watching the X62 go past him empty. The whole thing has to work for everyone.”

Mr Douglas said: “We have to look and see if there a demand for people in Innerleithen wanting to go to Galashiels for a late night out, or are people here more likely to go to Peebles? Or is there a demand for both?

“They think the financing should pretty much run itself there would be very little extra finance needed. This service would be much cheaper than people individually paying for a taxi.”

Do you believe that there is a demand for a regular weekly late minibus taxi service from Galashiels to Innerleithen? If so, on which day or days should it operate?

Send your views to Innerleithen Community Council via their Facebook page.