Bus passengers have expressed concern over the reduction of Stagecoach services in North Ayrshire.

The Times spoke to members of the public in Irvine after a petition was set up calling for Stagecoach to reconsider axing the X44.

The petition, set up by local resident Jack Neill, said: “This would leave these communities isolated without any form of direct transport to the City Centre and following the X17 from Ayr to Silverburn being withdrawn in 2018, this leaves Ayrshire with no direct buses to Silverburn at all. I think it would be a massive mistake to remove it [the X44].”

When the Times took to the streets of Irvine, we found similar concerns among members of the community.

Stuart Burns, a dad from Irvine, said: “A lot of people commute to Glasgow. I don’t think it’s a good thing for anybody.” 

Irvine Times: Stuart BurnsStuart Burns

Gemma Stevenson, also from Irvine, agreed: “People can’t be happy, that’s for sure. It should still be on for people. They should keep it and not take it away.”

Irvine Times: Gemma StevensonGemma Stevenson

Maggie Smith from Ardrossan added: “It’s ridiculous. They’ve changed all the timetables; they’re always changing things. It’s not good when it’s going to affect a lot of folk.”

Irvine Times: Maggie SmithMaggie Smith

Catherine McMillan lives in Girdle Toll and said that getting to Glasgow would now mean two journeys. She said: “I’ll have to go through Kilmarnock which I don’t want to do. It’s going to take a long while.” 

Irvine Times: Catherine McMillanCatherine McMillan

Jacqueline Mack from Dalry uses the bank in Irvine and was concerned about the bus timetable changes. She said: “There’s one every hour to Ardrossan, one every hour to Irvine so it’s already a two-hour service but they’re taking that away. They’ve already taken the Shuttle Bus away.”

Irvine Times: Jacqueline MackJacqueline Mack

A spokesperson for Stagecoach West Scotland said: “During September, Stagecoach actively engaged with the public via consultation events in Saltcoats, Irvine and Beith, and through canvassing customers on board our services and by an online survey. 

“Unfortunately, services X11 and X44 continue to have low passenger numbers, and as there are alternative services that this small proportion of our passengers can use instead, we can no continue to operate these non-commercially viable services.”