THE announcement of a number of bus cuts in the Stirling area has been dubbed 'shambolic' by opposition councillors.

Last week Stirling Council's Environment and Housing Committee agreed policy savings of around �313,000 from the Support Transport Services budget.

The council say they have worked hard to ensure that as far as possible rural services will not be affected, including the Demand Responsive Transport contracts.

The Door-to-Door and Taxicard Services, which assist people with mobility difficulties, will also not be affected.

However the cuts were quickly met with criticism from opposition councillors, including Green Councillor Mark Ruskell who said: "The way these bus cuts were made in committee was utterly shambolic, with no consultation, mis-leading information about services and costs, and no analysis on how these cuts impact on services across the remaining network." One service given the axe, the S8 bus which provides transport to Dunblane High School pupils, was met with worry in the community.

Area councillor Graham Houston said: "I have grave concerns about the competence of this Tory/Labour administration if they can make such a fundamentally stupid decision.

"Saving �21,000 from the transport budget only to incur an additional �21,000 on the education budget displays a jaw dropping level of ineptitude in being able to make efficiencies in service delivery.

"Not only do the council not make any net savings this decision means that some pupils living within two miles of the school and the public will no longer be able to use this service as it will be classed as a private hire and not a service registered for fare paying passengers.

"As the portfolio holder he (Councillor Gibson) really needs to get a grip on the details of how his department works and understand the implications of making decisions before consulting with those people who are directly effected." In response Councillor Gibson said: "It is Councillor Houston that needs to get a grip of the facts as his assertions are just simply not true. There will in fact be an overall reduction in cost to the council because there will be fewer buses running.

"Dunblane is the only High School that currently has this joint arrangement between education and public transport.

"All distance entitled pupils (living over two miles) in Dunblane will continue to receive the transport they are entitled to under education policy the same as everybody else in the Stirling Council area." And Eastern villages SNP councillor Alasdair MacPherson dubbed the cuts a 'devastating blow' to his constituents, stating they were widely used by the elderly and infirm.

He said: "I am extremely angry that my fellow ward members Councillors Weir and Brisley ignored my plea to stand up to their Tory masters on this matter. The bus service to the hospital will cause my constituents in Cowie real problems, which is totally unforgivable." On the back of his comments, Labour Councillor Margaret Brisley claimed the hospital service had 'low passenger usage' and proved to be 'unsustainable'. She said: "Since the start of the C34/C35 service in April 2012 it is projected their will only be 661 trips made to the hospital compared with 5150 trips being made between the villages or to Morrisons supermarket.

"All we ever hear from the minority opposition is what they oppose and never what they would propose instead. They are the first opposition in Stirling Council history to fail to put up an alternative budget, thereby keeping the public in the dark on their secret alternative plans - if indeed they exist." Here is a full list of the services which will be withdrawn from July 1 2013: C57 St Ninians- Raploch C54 Cowie-Stirling-Bridge of Allan C58 Cowie- Stirling-Dunblane C16-57 Cambusbarron-Stirling-Throsk-Bridge of Allan-Raploch C59 Callander-Stirling-St Ninians C34/C35 (Not FVRH) Morrisons-Fallin-Throsk-Cowie-Plean C13 Balfron-Drymen-Balloch S16 Snowdon Pl-Cambusbarron-St Mary's PS (Bannockburn) C60 Callander-Killin S8 Ashfield- Dunblane HS C10-C12 Balfron-Aberfoyle-Drymen-Glasgow-Stirling C34/C35 (FVRH) Morrisons-Fallin-Throsk-Cowie-Plean-FVRH