A new council-run bus service could be coming to Ayrshire following the announcement that a vital Dalry service is to be axed.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane called for bus services to be run by local authorities for people not profit. Councillor Cullinane's call comes amid local speculation that Stagecoach or SPT – which both run services in Dalry – could take over the Number 10's old route.

He said: “Leaving bus services to be run in the interests of private bus company profits rather than the interests of people has let down communities like Dalry for years.

“As a country we are spending vast amounts of public money subsidising the profits of those bus companies whilst allowing them to cut vital bus services with no regard for the communities who rely on them. That’s why North Ayrshire Labour wants to intervene in the bus market through municipally owned bus services run for people not profit and I am delighted East Ayrshire Council have now agreed to work with us to explore an Ayrshire wide bus service.

“Municipal bus services cannot be achieved by keeping the profitable bus routes in the hands of private bus companies as the SNP Government proposed in their Transport Bill. Thankfully, amendments to that Bill, secured by Labour MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, mean there is the potential in the coming years to radically change how our bus market works – allowing council owned, not-for-profit municipal bus companies to operate the profitable routes which enables them reinvest those profits in the rest of the network in the interests of communities.

“The Garnock Valley has always been at the heart of our ambitions for municipal bus services. We recognise the lack of connectivity in the Valley’s public transport network and that even where bus services are available fares are exorbitant. That’s why, even as we explore our ambitions for municipal bus services, we have invested £25,000 from our Community Investment Fund in a Garnock Valley locality travel needs analysis. That research will explore the key gaps in the Valley’s public transport network as well as identifying practical barriers to travel such as cost and timetabling.”

A spokesperson for Stagecoach West Scotland commented: "We're aware of recent changes to Shuttle services within Dalry. Bus companies are not permitted to exchange services however we do have a number of regular services which operate in and around the town of Dalry which we hope support people travelling around that area."

Responding to Councillor Cullinane's attack on the SNP, Councillor Joy Brahim said: “It’s typical to see Cllr Cullinane doesn’t even mention the people who will be affected, and he goes straight for the political posturing. He thinks will get him higher up the Regional Labour list. Sadly, that’s no use to the people of Dalry.

“Incidentally, after the Tories had deregulated bus services in 1986, the Labour Government didn’t do anything to change this during their years in government from 1997-2010 and neither did they during their eight years they led the Scottish Government, so Labour politicians hardly get to pass judgement on this.”

Dalry and West Kilbride Councillor Todd Ferguson said: "I am extremely disappointed in the decision taken by Shuttle Bus Ltd to cancel their service in Dalry. Residents are dependent on this service continuing to operate. Elderly, and less mobile passengers use the service to attend appointments, shopping and visit friends. While primary school children are reliant on the service to safely travel to and from school.

“The decision to cancel the service, during the summer holidays, at such short notice is completely unacceptable. The number one priority for the Garnock Valley Locality Partnership is 'Moving Around', which includes public transportation. I am working with colleagues in the hope that a solution can be found."