CONCERNS were today raised for passengers with mobility problems following the roll-out of new buses in the North-east.
Stagecoach North Scotland has unveiled a fleet of 17 new Buchan Xpress coaches, which will operate between Aberdeen and coastal towns in Aberdeenshire.
The new coaches, which will operate on the existing 60, 63, 67 and 68 routes, boast leather reclining seats and even bike lockers.
But concerns have been raised after it emerged only two seats are on ground level, located behind the drivers seat, with a further 71 on the upper level of the bus.
Space is provided for wheelchairs on the lower level, with the majority of space on the level being used for extra storage for the bike lockers.
Ellon Councillor Isobel Davidson said: “I think the buses are fantastic but I can see it would be difficult because everyone has to climb the stairs.”
All 17 Buchan Xpress vehicles were first used on Monday. They have replaced the former Buchan Link coaches.
Stagecoach North Scotland reiterated that the buses are used across the UK.
A spokeswoman for the company said passengers will benefit from the new buses.
She said: “We welcome any feedback on our brand new fleet of Buchan Xpress coaches, particularly from our passengers. The new coaches feature two seats on the same low-floor level as the driver and wheelchair space.
“The Buchan Link coaches that have been replaced did not feature any low level seating and all passengers had to use the stairs. We hope our passengers will see the benefit the design of the new coaches will bring to their comfort.”