The recent withdrawal of the last surviving section of a classic Scottish long distance stage service has prompted IAN CLAPPERTON to recall its heyday and describe what has taken its place

Alexander (Fife) FPE21 (TXA 121K), a Leyland Leopard with 49-seat Alexander Y-type body new to Cupar depot in June 1972, at St Andrews bus station in April 1973. 

In his article in November Buses about coach service deregulation in 1980, Stephen Morris commented on the near absence then of all-year express coach services north of the border, explaining that many Scottish Bus Group (SBG) interurban services were lengthy stage carriage routes through rural areas. 

Although timed to maintain relatively brisk schedules, they were not fast. They ran mainly on single carriageway roads and served many towns and large villages along the way. Employing conductors reduced dwell times at stops, but those conductors also handled the large numbers of parcels sent daily by bus. 

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