BUS stops have been replaced in Helensburgh and Lomond without the knowledge of local councillors, it has been claimed.

Lomond North independent councillor George Freeman said he had been surprised by work taking place at a bus stop in Garelochhead, across from the Anchor Inn.

He appealed for councillors to be kept informed on planned works, and for the stop to be returned to its original location due to traffic problems.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said that the programme of work had been due to take place in 2020, but was delayed due to Covid-19.

Councillor Freeman told a full council meeting: “Over the past couple of months there has been a great deal of work going on putting up new shelters, some of which have not needed replaced.

“There has been criticism on this issue in the centre of Garelochhead. There was a large layby with a bus stop and shelter.

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“Contractors spent two days doing works to the pavement and moved the bus stop. Buses now have to stop in the middle of the road, blocking the traffic.

“Why does that go on without any consultation with local members? I will come back to officers with what is what on this, but local members must be consulted on these things.

“This would save a great deal of money and criticism for some of the actions the council takes.”

Councillor Freeman was then invited to email officials with his concerns, which he did in the days following the meeting.

In the email he said: “The first I became aware of any change was when I noted contractors on site over a two-day period with heavy plant and machinery carrying out major works to the pavement to extend the pavement and shorten the layby.

“This clearly must have cost the public purse a great deal of money.

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“Prior to these changes, buses passing through Garelochhead from Helensburgh would pull into the bus stop in the layby to allow passengers on to and off the bus. This allowed traffic to continue to flow freely in both directions along the B872.

“The location where the new bus shelter has been placed, and where the pavement has been widened, now requires buses to stop on the main road.

“I would ask that as a matter of urgency, this bus shelter/stop is relocated back to its original location.”

A council spokesperson said: “The work being carried out on the bus shelters on the Rosneath Peninsula is part of a £100,000 project funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

“It was scheduled to be carried out in 2020, but was delayed because of Covid-19. Details are available on the council’s website.

“The bus shelters that have been removed that are in good condition will be recycled and used elsewhere in Argyll and Bute where we do not have the benefit of the additional funding.

“By moving the bus stop in Garelochhead, we have ensured that people with mobility difficulties can access the bus from the safety of the pavement, away from parked cars.”