CUMBRAE Community Council are hoping to line up a meeting with Millport Motors to discuss the changes to the bus route over Ferry Road.

Various concerns were raised at the group's latest meeting at the Garrison in relation to the the move.

This winter Millport Motors will be operating a 16 seater mini-bus on the half hour local service and instead of using the seafront B896 road, will go over Ferry Road, apart from the first two and last three services of the day which are subsidised and will use the current route.

A new dial-a-bus system came into operation earlier this month. Community council chairman Phil Lonsdale, pictured, said: "The existing buses will run on all subsidised routes.

"Millport Motors apparently has CalMac phoning if there are more than 20 bus passengers on the ferry so the small bus can be changed to the big bus for any one run.

"The big bus will have to go around the shore route as there is a weight limit for Ferry Road.

"The dial-a-bus is a totally separate entity.

"I think all of us have our concerns about Ferry Road. It is also a national core path for walkers and cyclists."

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch has echoed the group's concerns.

He says: "I still have safety worries, even though it is a smaller bus using Ferry Road.

"The vehicles are legal and it is a private service, so it is up to the operator, but I still have concerns regarding road and passenger safety."

Mr Lonsdale pointed out that the school bus is a totally separate contract and would not be affected by the changes.

Community councillor Alex Caldwell says he can see benefits from the shake-up.

He added: "The dial-a-bus is a plus for the island. There are a lot of people who live here who are isolated and don't have cars. This will be a help to them."

The community council are now Millport Motors to find out more information in relation to the route changes.

Last week concerns were raised by Cllr Alan Hill regarding the classification of Ferry Road for the use of buses.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson however has said this is not an issue for them.

They said: “This is a commercial bus service operated on an unsubsidised basis by Millport Motors.

“There is no requirement for the operator to consult the council when changing a service. They are however required to consult with Scottish Passenger Transport (SPT) when registering a change of the service with the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland.

“It should however be noted that current legislation offers public transport authorities such as SPT no powers to direct or influence their provision, including in matters of route or frequency.”

A spokesperson for SPT said: “These are commercially run services which SPT has no influence over. All changes are at the discretion of the operator.

"The SPT subsidised services which operate on the island continue to follow the old route.”