Dartmouth’s bus depot is being closed by Stagecoach bus company.

Stagecoach bus company, which runs the site at the park and ride, said it needs to “evaluate” the depot’s future, and signs outside show the site has been sold.

Cllr Malcolm Matthews, of Dartmouth Town Council, said: “I think this is going to end up with services cut due to buses coming from Plymouth and Newton Abbot even though Stagecoach is stating no service will be cut, but probably not until the end of the summer season.

“I’ve been talking to residents and bus drivers and they have a long list of concerns.

“People are worried if a bus breaks down – which happens frequently – then how long will it take for a replacement bus to arrive with no depot? And in inclement weather conditions - early morning and late evening in the winter - how can they guarantee the service?”

Other concerns raised included if a driver is taken ill then there’ll be a delay waiting for a driver to arrive from another depot, and if a ticket machine fails on the bus passengers will travel free causing more loss to the company.

Cllr Matthews added: “We’re being told by government to use public transport to improve our carbon footprint but I understand seven buses per day will come from Newton Abbot or Plymouth meaning 400 plus miles a day! Where is this cutting the carbon footprint?

“I’ve heard talk saying the 90 service will start later on a weekday despite Stagecoach saying there will be no services withdrawn and there will be a number of enhancements to local services specifically regarding Dartmouth.”

A spokesperson for Stagecoach South West said a decline in bus use and ticket sales has forced an uncertain future for smaller depots such as Dartmouth.

They said: “The past year has continued to be very challenging for our business.

“Our industry faces a challenging market with reduced patronage, a decline in revenues and decreased concessionary travel. As a result, it has been necessary to evaluate the future of our small outstation location in Dartmouth.

“A consultation is currently taking place with those affected by this, however any changes would not affect our customers or the local services or timetables we operate.

“This internal change as to how services are operated would impact a very small number of our employees and we are discussing with those affected as to what this means for them, and how they can be accommodated in positions that are available across our operation.”

Cllr Matthews said he’s written to MP Anthony Mangnall and South Hams District Councillors.

He added: “This closing is the thin end of the wedge and, when the summer season finishes, the service will be cut.

“Hopefully Stagecoach would like to meet up with me, our MP and South Hams District Councillors to discuss this.”