1. Minibus Out of Use: The current minibus is off the road at present while we wait for a new part to be sourced. It was hoped that it would be back on the road by mid-January but finding the required part is taking longer than anticipated.

2. Mearns Area Partnership Committee are very aware of the concern the community has about the current minibus. We have enquired about the cost of a replacement bus and are appreciative that the community has raised over £7,000 towards a replacement. We have also recently been given a donation of £6,000 form Tulloch Farms towards the approximately £17,000 needed. Thanks also to Ian Greig of Mearns Motors for his advice.

3. The Minibus: The current minibus has a tail lift which greatly increased the weight of the vehicle. This means that anyone without a D1 on their licence can’t drive the bus. This excludes everyone under about 45! It is proposed therefore to purchase a second-hand minibus without a tail lift to hopefully increase usage by the groups and schools in the area. We can hopefully enter into an agreement with the Stonehaven minibus to have use of their vehicle should a tail lift be required by any group.

4. Finance: The cost of keeping the minibus are simply not being met by the current usage. We do get a grant from Aberdeenshire Council (at present) which is why we can keep it going meantime. If we don’t match a percentage of the grant however we are obliged to repay a percentage of money to Aberdeenshire Council. Taking fuel; servicing; MOT; insurance; road tax; AA membership; administration cost and repairs costs a lot and the income per month simply doesn’t support these costs.

5. Committee: When the current minibus was purchased through external funding it was a condition that a committee of bus users would form a management committee to take decisions regarding the bus. Mearns Area Partnership would have a representative on the committee with an equal vote. Sadly, this has never happened. Should a new minibus be purchased it won’t be until such time as a committee is in place.

Nikki Lorimer has been appointed as the new administrator of MCT and is the person you should contact if you are interested in joining the committee. MAP is happy that this committee become a SCIO and take over full responsibility for the minibus in the future.

Mearns Area Partnership is grateful to and thanks all who have helped with the minibus in any capacity in the life of the project.

For further information please email Nikki at mearnsct2@gmail.com or by phone on 01561 377000. Please note that the office is not always manned. You can leave a message and Nikki will get back to you as soon as she can.

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