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I know how important it is that people in our area have access to reliable, convenient and affordable bus services.

I have consistently campaigned for public transport improvements across the North East. To help me continue to do so, I've been keen to survey the views of people living in the Daviot, Rothienorman, Auchterless, Fyvie and Cumminestown areas.

Now that my rural bus survey has closed, I'd like to thank everybody for taking the time to complete and return it to me.

The survey was welcomed by many and the overall return rate was extremely high. Residents have raised a raft of issues and I am pursuing many individual problems such as reliability, cleanliness of buses and accessibility.

Beyond these individual problems there has been an overwhelming call for more frequent services, new bus routes, better connections to mainline bus routes, and fairer fares.

After collating all the responses and analysing the key themes, I held meetings with Stagecoach Bluebird, Aberdeenshire Council and Buchan Dial-a-bus to discuss the outcome of the survey. Those meetings were positive and all concerned have agreed to consider in detail the findings of the survey and to reply to me as to how they might begin to meet local needs better.

The survey has clearly identified areas of concern and I will take these up on your behalf - you have my assurance that I will pursue this vigorously. I don't expect change overnight but do hope that we can look forward to some much needed improvements in local bus services. I will keep in touch with you about progress.

Thanks again to everyone who expressed their views on this important matter. As always, if I can be of any further assistance with regards to this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

alison sig