Prior to the creation of Dalgety Bay as we know it today, W Alexander (Fife), operated a Kirkcaldy – Dunfermline bus service stopping at a point which is now the corner of A921 road and Eastern Access Road serving the small community clustered around the church towards Barns Farm area.
As Dalgety Bay grew in size from 1965, Alexanders’ route 7A linked Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay. In 1985 the company became part of the Scottish Transport Group when the government introduced a policy of deregulating the bus industry to promote greater competition; W Alexander Fife then became Fife Scottish Buses.
Fife Coastliner, Service 57
Capitalising on the growth of the town, a development in July1990 was the introduction of the ambitious “Fife Coastliner” Service 57 between Anstruther, Leven and Edinburgh stopping at Pentland Rise.
During the early-mid1990’s, the town expanded westwards with a large number of houses built on the site of St Davids’ harbour; shortly afterwards representation was made by residents to provide a bus service. Stagecoach responded by diverting a number of early morning/late evening service 7, Dunfermline – Kirkcaldy buses.
Commemorating the 25th. anniversary of the town in 1990, Service 79 between Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay was route branded” as “Bayliner” using single deck buses painted with a “Bayliner” logo above the windows. In July 1991, the Stagecoach bus group purchased Fife Scottish Buses for £9.1M which was then renamed Stagecoach Fife.
Two years later, a Kirkcaldy independent operator trading as Orion Buses challenged the Stagecoach monopoly by operating a “circular” Dunfermline-Cowdenbeath-Kirkcaldy-Dalgety Bay-Dunfermline service. This competition was nullified by Stagecoach who increased the frequency of their established services and Orion was forced to withdraw within the year.
This was a sign of “things to come” and over the years, many well established Fife bus and coach operators were absorbed by the Stagecoach empire including such well known names used by local schools for outings such as Rennies of Dunferrmline, Allisons Coaches, Moffat & Williamson, Glenrothes.
As time progressed, it was recognised that Stagecoach Fife wished to abandon a number of uneconomic bus routes and they stated their intentions to Fife Council. Following the “Bayliner” brand, Stagecoach revised route 79 as Dalgety Bay – Kelty via Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline running to a half hour frequency.
Two uneconomic routes subsidised
About this time and in order to maintain a service where hardship would be caused to communities if a bus connection was lost, Fife Council agreed to subsidise two uneconomic routes which served Dalgety Bay that is;
Service 83 was subsequently withdrawn without replacement on 13 August 2011 and Service 80 renumbered to Service 87, August 2011 using single deck buses on an hourly schedule, Dunfermline – Duloch – Hillend – Dalgety Bay – St Davids –Inverkeithing- North Queensferry (Rail Station).
An advantage with using single deck buses on service 87 was that they complied with a 7.5 tonnes weight limit imposed on B916 road Hillend – Dunfermline to protect the late 18th. century bridge west end of the railway station; double deck vehicles previously used exceeded B916 road weight limit by 2 tonnes although some Inverkeithing High School buses still use double deck vehicles.
Swedish Scania Omnilink Services 53 Dalgety Bay and 55 Dunfermline
A new initiative occurred October 2007 when Stagecoach purchased a number of six wheeled high capacity Swedish Scania Omnilink single deck buses intended for use on Dunfermline – Edinburgh Service 55 and new Service 53 Dalgety Bay – Edinburgh via St Davids which operated on a 30 minute frequency.
This new service supplemented existing hourly Kirkcaldy – Edinburgh Service X58 and hourly St Andrews – Leven – Kirkcaldy – Edinburgh service X60 which runs via Dalgety Bay railway station and augmented early morning/late evening service 7 buses.
Regrettably although service 53 provided St Davids with a regular, reliable service, it proved to be grossly underused and was cancelled; replaced by peak time services 53, X53, 57 & X57 mainly using Scania buses. In view of low patronage, the future of these services is not guaranteed.
In August 2014, following complaints of poor timekeeping, Stagecoach in liaison with Fife Council revised times of service 87 from an hourly to a 75 minute schedule.
It is to be regretted that although the Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council initiated a “town centre study”, final recommendations made October 2011 found no place for provision of a “central” bus station in the town. Significantly, Leven (population 8051 @ 2001 Census) boasts a comparatively new 8 bay bus station but Dalgety Bay (population 10011@ 2001 Census) does not appear to warrant such a facility which could create a focal transport hub as opposed to the scattered stops at Meadowfield, Regents Way, Moray Way North (opposite Community Centre) and Railway Station.
Rail Link Kirkcaldy to Glasgow
Although a rail link Kirkcaldy – Glasgow via Inverkeithing existed up to 1965, First Scotrail has chosen not to resurrect this service. The author invited Stagecoach (Fife) to consider filling a “gap” in present bus services by linking Inverkeithing Park & Ride to a Glasgow bus service to benefit Burntisland, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing and local residents.
Stagecoach’s response was that they consider Dunfermline and Halbeath Park & Ride facilities as adequate.
Copyright. The article remains the copyright of the unnamed author and the author has given permission for this article to appear in CN and Scotland4me. Photographs are provided provided by:
The bus gallery – permission to use much appreciated that is the first two in the article relating to buses in the 1960s.
the unnamed author – photos of the 80 and 83 buses.
The picture of the train is from Royalty Free stock and the featured image is the copyright of Scotland4me.net