PERRYMAN'S Buses will take over several of the threatened routes around the central Borders from next month.

Current operators First announced during the spring that they intended to scrap up to a dozen loss-making services.

Following ongoing talks over the past few weeks Scottish Borders Council have now confirmed that Perryman's will operate the Hawick town service as well as the 73 service between Galashiels and Bannerfield.

They will also operate the 61 school service between Oxton, Lauder and Earlston High School.

The announcement follows the decision by Peeblesshire firm BARC Coach Hire to operate the Peebles town service 90a and 90b on a commercial basis.

All the services were de-registered by First following a review of its Borders’ operations.

Claire Lark, Operations Manager at Perryman’s Buses, told the Border Telegraph: “Perryman’s Buses is a local company committed to providing a reliable bus service in and around the Scottish Borders.

"We are pleased to be introducing a number of new routes in Hawick, Selkirk and Galashiels and look forward to quickly establishing good working relations with the towns and its people.

“In delivering those services, and our commitment to the area, we are delighted to announce we shall be investing approximately £500,000 in brand new vehicles.

"We value our customers and hope residents appreciate this investment by making full use of the new routes which come into effect on Monday, August 15.”

Perryman’s will operate the new Hawick and Selkirk services as commercial routes which means there is no cost to the local authority, aside from evenings and Sundays on the Hawick town services which will continue to be run under contract to SBC.

The new Hawick town services H1 and H2 will each run on an hourly frequency and will replace the previous First services 75, 76 and 77.

Perryman’s will operate a revised timetable and intend to use new low floor, accessible buses for the Hawick services.

Perryman’s will also run service 73 Selkirk Bannerfield to Galashiels every hour during the day (Monday to Saturday) on a commercial basis, with an extra morning journey added to connect with the Borders Railway at Galashiels.

Negotiations are continuing regarding other services which First identified as part of its review.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure said: “I am pleased that the Council has managed to work with local bus operators to ensure a number of vital services will continue.

“Going forward, the message is now that communities must support these services in order for them to have a future. Otherwise we could be faced with a similar scenario in future years.”