BORDERS bus passengers look set to be affected by a shake-up after it emerged that the current network is financially ‘unsustainable’.

It is hoped the move will help increase usage and reflect a shift in travel habits caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) – which subsidises the majority of services on the network – launched a survey this week for residents to have their say.

Jenny Linehan, SBC’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “It is clear that bus travel habits are not returning to what they were pre-COVID. The continued lack of patronage creates funding pressures for both commercial and subsidised services.

“Financially that cannot be sustained. It is equally important that an environmentally sustainable bus network is put in place – one that truly helps people to swap from using a private car to the bus for as many journeys as possible.”

The Leaderdale and Melrose councillor urged all Borderers, even those who do not use the bus, to complete the survey.

SBC hopes an improved bus service will encourage young people to stay in the region and help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The region is served by 42 bus routes, which have remained largely unchanged for many years and are run by multiple bus operators.

Working habits post-COVID and transport developments – including the planned investment into a coast-to-coast cycle route – will be considered in the network review.

The survey results will be used alongside existing usage data to create ‘better public transport solutions’, according to SBC.

The survey can be completed online at and is open until January 9, 2023.