An extensive review of the existing bus network was carried out with a focus on improving punctuality and reliability as well as better reflecting demand and customer travel habits.
The timetable changes will deliver a number of improvements for customers, including:
- A brand new X71 service will be introduced to offer a direct link for the Irvine Valley to Glasgow. The X71 will depart from Priestland at 0644 and will operate with a luxury double deck vehicle via Hurlford Cross, Queens Drive and Kilmarnock Bus Station. This will then continue at 0724 via Southcraigs to Glasgow. A return journey will depart from Glasgow at 1705 serving Kilmarnock Bus Station at 1751 and Priestland at 1824 and then returning to Kilmarnock Bus Station at 1900.
- An extension to service 1A which will now provide a direct link to Crosshouse Hospital from Hurlford and will now operate on a 60 minute frequency to reflect demand. As a result, service 8 will be withdrawn as a service number however it’s route will be incorporated into the extended 1A service.
- To assist workers an additional journey will be introduced on the service 4 from Kilmarnock bus station to Rowallan Business Park at 0635.
- A new service 9 will be introduced from Kilmarnock Bus Station to Kilmaurs and Stewarton and will replace the current service 1 between these destinations. The service 9 will operate on a 20 minute frequency.
- There will be a new service 9 for Stewarton to replace the current service 1. Service 1 will be subject to a route change and will now operate from Kilmarnock Bus Station to Priestland at the current 15 minute frequency. One journey in each direction on the service 1 per hour will start and end at Newmilns and will serve Galston Scheme as well as Galston Cross, replacing the current 2 service on this portion of the route, offering passengers in Galston scheme new direct connections to Newmilns, Darvel and Priestland.
- The service 10 from Kilmarnock to Troon will be subject to timing changes to improve punctuality.
- The X4 service will be replaced by the X16. The X16 will have a route change and will now serve UWS and Ayrshire College campuses in Ayr for the first time. As a result, the route will no longer serve Prestwick. From Kilmarnock Bus Station the X16 will no longer serve Glasgow Road to the A77 but will instead operate via South Dean Road and Kennedy Drive to Grassyards Road and then join the A77 at the Grassyards interchange. Journey times will be changed to improve punctuality. The X16 will now offer a 30 minute frequency between Ayr and Kilmarnock and will continue to operate hourly between Ayr and Hamilton.
The company is also introducing some changes in response to low passenger demand on some routes. As a result, service 2 will no longer serve Galston and will now operate on a 60 minute frequency between ASDA at Queens Drive and Hurlford.
Service 5 to New Farm Loch will be withdrawn, however residents will be able to use the nearby 6 and 7 services or the X16 service.
The X76 will be subject to timing alterations and the X79 will now operate between Irvine, Kilmarnock Bus Station and Glasgow and will no longer serve Western Road.
Tom Bridge, Managing Director, Stagecoach West Scotland said: "Our overall aim is to provide a better, more efficient and more reliable package of services to our customers. The changes we are making to our bus network in Ayrshire better reflect the travel habits of our customers and will help ensure we have a strong and stable network over the longer term.
Tom Bridge added that “We are working hard, and investing heavily, in new technology and customer improvements to transform the journey experience for customers. We have smart ticketing in place, and passengers can now use our free Stagecoach smartphone app to track their bus in real time, plan their journey or buy their ticket saving them precious time and making bus travel even more convenient.”