Bosses of an Aberdeen bus firm have urged emergency service workers struggling to get to work due to timetable changes to contact them.
First Aberdeen announced it was introducing a Sunday-style timetable on weekdays due to a drop-off in demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said it would keep morning rush-hour buses running frequently to ensure key workers and emergency service workers could get to their shifts.
However, bus users claim the change in timetables before the morning rush hour has made it hard for emergency service workers to get to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
One passenger, Ron Campbell, said: “There are no extra services to allow NHS workers to get to ARI for early shifts that start between 7am and 7.30am, except the 8A from Dubford.”
Another bus user, who asked not to be named, said: “People come from all across the city and the surrounding areas to start shifts at ARI before the morning rush hour begins.
“They depend on the bus to get to work.
“If, for example, they are running hourly, if you miss one service you have to wait a long while and would almost certainly miss the start of your shift.
“In other instances, it means emergency-service workers getting up an hour earlier to make their bus, or the service just doesn’t run.
“Of course people understand why First has done this, particularly because the government has warned against non-essential travel, but they need to take another look at the timetables.”
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First Aberdeen’s commercial director Graeme Macfarlan said passengers who wish for journeys to be included in the timetable should contact the company.
He said: “First Aberdeen is committed to continuing services wherever possible so that those who need to make essential journeys, like health service and emergency workers, can continue to do so.
“In the face of government advice not to use public transport, we have added a number of additional morning peak journeys to our normal Sunday schedules to offer more journey opportunities for all key workers in Aberdeen, and I would ask passengers to refer to the forthcoming timetable section of our website to review these timetables.
“If passengers wish us to consider any further additional journeys they should contact us directly through the normal channels and we would be happy to assist wherever possible.
“Rest assured everything is being done to keep key workers mobile as the nation comes together.”
Meanwhile, most Stagecoach buses were to start running less often as of today.
The company, which operates services throughout Aberdeenshire and Moray, introduced a new timetable last week and has made further changes reflecting demand.
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “Further revised timetables are now available at stagecoach bus.com
“These temporary timetables ensure critical routes are maintained and will operate across the region until further notice.
“Following an analysis of the demand for bus services in the area at this time, the frequency of most services will be reduced but will still cater for essential shopping trips to be made.
“Feedback received since March 23 has been used to develop the reduced timetables and will better cater for shift patterns of key workers who still rely on the bus to commute to work.”