First Aberdeen has scrapped plans to extend a bus service to drop off passengers at a health centre due to “serious” safety concerns.
Customers had contacted the firm to request that the number 8 service, which operates between Dubford and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, also had a stop at the Foresterhill Health Campus.
MSP for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald also met First Aberdeen bosses last week, after speaking to constituents who complained about “poor public transport access” to the centre.
Route changes were expected to come into effect from July 1, with the number 8 service extended to also include the health centre on a trial basis.
Transport operators said they would consider it on a permanent basis if there were enough passengers using the new stop.
However, NHS Grampian has objected to the proposals, citing “serious safety concerns”.
As a result, the route has now been withdrawn.
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David Phillips, operations director for First Aberdeen, said: “I can confirm that following talks with local stakeholders and feedback we had received from customers, we had initially lodged plans to extend the service 8 to serve Foresterhill Health Centre and all of the information at the time of application was accurate.
“However, having received further information from NHS Grampian in regards to serious safety concerns about use of the area surrounding Foresterhill Road, First Aberdeen has taken the decision to withdraw the extension of this route.
“We regret any disappointment caused by the decision not to extend the service on this occasion, but the safety of our customers and staff is of paramount importance and cannot be compromised.”
Mr McDonald said he is “extremely disappointed” by the decision.
He said: “First Bus confirmed in writing, clearly in response to concerns raised by my constituents, that this route would be extended on a trial basis.
“Not having consulted with NHS Grampian before making this public is unfathomable, and for them then to pull the rug out from under service users a couple of days later is deeply regrettable.
“I’ve asked to meet both First Bus and NHS Grampian to discuss this further, and to secure at the very least an apology for service users whose hopes have been raised and subsequently dashed.”
An NHS Grampian spokesman said the route incorporated a private road.
He added: “Ensuring that Foresterhill, as one of the largest health sites in Europe, is well served by buses is crucial.
“That’s why we recently invested £58,000 in upgrading the bus port at ARI and it is used by up to 70 buses an hour during peak times.
“First Aberdeen proposed to run one of their existing services on a separate, private hospital road on the Foresterhill Health Campus, however, after considering this proposal, it is clear it would not be suitable for regular bus traffic.”