South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that the under threat 101/102 Dumfries to Edinburgh bus service has found a new operator.

Houston’s Coaches is being recommended to take over the running of the service.

Colin Smyth said: “This is welcome news and testament to the hard work of campaigners, who have dedicated time and effort to ensure this bus service doesn’t disappear.

“I hope that if Houston’s is successful in their bid, they will continue to run the full timetable.

“Bus firms are facing a tough time right now with the double whammy of a shortage of bus drivers, primarily due to the impact of Brexit, as well as cuts to funding by the Scottish Government.

“Bus services across Scotland are still dealing with the aftermath of Covid but many of the issues they face existed long before the pandemic.

“Public transport is a public service and in my view, like all public services, should be publicly owned and run.

“Councils now have the powers to run their own bus services as a result of amendments I made to the Transport Act. The blockage is the Scottish Government who haven’t yet provided any funding for councils to do so.

“They need to understand the crisis our bus network is facing, make funding available and allow councils to run buses direct or set up arms-length publicly owned bus firms so that we can have services that put passengers, not profits first.”

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