THE row over bus services in Cumnock and Doon Valley continues after passengers complained of overcrowding.

Stagecoach previously denied there was a problem on the 43 service from New Cumnock to Ayr last month.

Now residents have taken to social media to vent their frustrations at the bus operator.

Commenting on our Facebook page, Mhari Ferguson said: “I can assure you this happens as my partner gets on at Whitletts Road and was refused entry onto the bus. I emailed head office and they said drivers are suppose to log when this happens and it had not been done. Also every morning it is always late.”

Janette McCreath also contacted Stagecoach about her concerns for the new timetable.

She said: “By the time the 43 reaches Mauchline at 7.45am it is standing room only. An hourly Ayr service at peak times through Catrine and Mauchline is hopeless.”

In their reply to Janette, Stagecoach said they “must operate and proportionate service” and that “if we fail to do so, the entire service becomes unsustainable”.

Richard Roberts commented: “Stagecoach management are utterly clueless half wits.”

June Bishop added: “I find it strange that a bus can carry almost 50 per cent of its passengers standing on a route from Ayr to Cumnock when the same company do not allow anyone standing on the X76 bus from Cumnock to Kilmarnock then Glasgow. Yes the ‘local’ bus is designed for urban use at much lower speeds but the speed limit on the A76, A70, and B743 is the same.”

Lauren Kennedy added: “The 42 bus was the exact same on Saturday, September 30. The bus came from Cumnock and when I got on at Drongan it was full. By the time we got to the end of Drongan the driver couldn’t let any more people on and drove past every single person waiting on the bus at Coylton.

“People were standing right up the back of the bus. It’s a shame thinking that people have work, appointments or places to be when they rely on buses that can’t even let them on due to overcrowding. Should have never have changed the timetable.”

Jim McLelland pointed to a greivance that many passengers using the 42 and 43 services face.

He said: “Passengers still have to pay their fare and stand I don’t think that’s fair you have to pay to stand. Why should you pay full fare to stand?”

In response to our readers' comments on social media, a spokesperson for Stagecoach West Scotland said: "There are strict guidelines in place to determine how many people a vehicle is certified to carry. This is clearly marked in the vehicle.

"The vehicles used on our 42 and 43 services between Ayr and Cumnock are single deck vehicles with a legal certified capacity of either 39 seated passengers and 34 standees or for 43 seated passengers and 31 standees.

"The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and our staff are aware that for safety reasons they are not allowed to carry more passengers than the certified limit.

"We have been monitoring passenger movements on all of our services closely following the changes to our network and have taken action where necessary in particular creating some additional capacity on our two busiest journeys.

"From Monday 2nd October we have been operating a duplicate service on the service 43 from Mauchline at 0737 to Ayr and at 1620 from Ayr to Mauchline. Meaning that another vehicle is shadowing the service bus that operates the full route creating additional capacity.

"Whilst two of our journeys have had increased demand the majority of journeys are operating with substantial capacity available and therefore it would not be sustainable to increase capacity or frequency on the remaining journeys."