TWEEDDALE West councillors Viv Thomson, Eric Small and Drummond Begg who fought to save the 101/102 bus service celebrated on Monday.

The route is now being operated by Houston’s of Lockerbie, which started running buses last Saturday.

SNP councillor Viv Thomson, speaking for all three councillors, said: “The 101/102 is our link into Edinburgh allowing people access to work, hospital appointments, school and of course social activities.

“And it allows us to get to Biggar for shopping benefitting local economies.

“The service also means that during the Festival time, areas such as West Linton are linked into the capital city and holiday properties benefit from this vital link.”

Last July the service, which connects Dumfries and Edinburgh, was threatened with closure and was only saved after 10,000 people signed a petition.

Later a further 1,400 people completed an online survey about the service which helped Houston’s decide to tender for the route.

Ms Thomson added: “We heard from many older people who were concerned that if the service had not been reinstated, they may have to have considered moving from the homes they have lived in for years as their ability to drive decreased.

“It is early days but I know people are pleased with the service being provided by Houstons – especially the quality of the buses being used, and we look forward to working with them to develop this service, in the coming years.

“The communities up and down the route came together to try to save the route as a whole.

“We recognise the benefit of having this vital link and worked locally to raise the profile and lobby where possible and are grateful to our funding partners for realising this too.”