MORE than 900 people have completed a survey about the 101/102 bus service in just five days.

Back in August, the Dumfries to Edinburgh, via Biggar, West Linton and Penicuik, route was threatened with the axe.

It was saved after a huge campaign along the route including a petition with about 10,000 signatures.

The current survey, run by marketing firm 58 Degree Insight, ends in eight days time on October 21.

A meeting of West Linton Community Council (WLCC) on Monday heard that the survey was organised by protest group Stand Up for Our Buses (SUFOB).

Details about the survey are at bus stops, on posters in shops, on Facebook and it is being promoted by Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

Lead campaigner Ian Reid, from West Linton, said the main stakeholder in awarding the next contract, Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT), has asked for a meeting with SUFOB scheduled for next Thursday.

“We have had sight of some of their documents and they will put the route out for tender in the next four weeks,” said Mr Reid. “SUFOB is trying to get SPT to push back a little bit on these timescales.

“It is under way and the clock is ticking.

“SBC said it is going to hold a consultation and SUFOB’s 58 Degree survey is not a substitute.

“It has been supported by all the councils but is neutral and independent.

“We have filled some of the gaps by holding the survey and there will be a full report from it on October 28.”

WLCC members were told that the five authorities along the route are talking to each other.

Community council member Lindsay Mann said: “SBC speaking to other councils is one thing, but why are they not speaking to us?”

WLCC member Tim Brian added: “Over the same period we should have been given the opportunity to consult and inform the tendering process.”

Mr Reid acknowledged the support of the council’s principal transport officer, Gordon Grant, and said: “I spoke to Mr Grant last week and he suggested some tweaks for our survey.”

WLCC agreed to send a letter to the leader of SBC asking when there would be a consultation.

SBC was approached for comment.