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18 Nov 2016

Stagecoach is inviting customers across the Highlands of Scotland to provide feedback on new bus timetable proposals to commence 9th January 2016.

The local bus operator has carried out an extensive review of the network, looking at the punctuality, reliability and usage of the routes particularly during the busy morning and afternoon peak periods.  

Proposed timetables for the services which have been developed with reliability and connecting customers to the most popular destinations are now available.  The company are encouraging customers to have a look at the proposals and share their thoughts, whether in support of the revisions or by highlighting any concerns accordingly.

Proposals include improvements to the bus connections from Old Hilton, New Hilton and Milton to the hospital and Inverness College.  Inverness College will also benefit from a new service connecting the campus from Nairn with service 11U. Stagecoach is sure that staff and students of these large institutions will welcome these developments.

Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director, Stagecoach North Scotland said: “Our analysis has shown that our routes in the Highlands area will benefit from these proposed timetable changes to improve journey reliability, which we know is very important to our customers. It is important we get these changes right and to help us make sure we do, we have issued our proposals and encourage our customers to give their comments.  Congestion continues to be a big challenge for us, particularly within Inverness, and trying to allocate sufficient time for each journey has played a big part in this revision.”

“Our commercial team have put together these timetables with the clear intention of improving our service delivery levels whilst matching the frequency of the services to the relative demand we see across the Highlands.  We’re asking our customers and indeed prospective customers to let us know what they think, so we can take any comments on board before we finalise our plans.”

Some of the proposed timetable improvements include:

  • Service 1 Proposed to offer Old Hilton, New Hilton and Milton hourly links to the Hospital and UHI.
  • Service 2/3 reintroduced Existing service 8A/8C will be replaced with new service 2/3 maintaining a combined 10 minute frequency. Caulfield Road will see introduction of evening/Sunday service
  • Service 4 Proposed to provide Drakies with an enhanced frequency every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday throughout the daytime Monday to Saturday. will provide South Kessock with a 30 minute link to and from Raigmore Hospital.
  • Service 5 Proposed to provide an hourly link from Ardersier with Culloden Academy and other local amenities within the Culloden area.
  • Service 6 Proposed to offer Holm Park and Holm Dell Road with a 30 minute service in place of the infrequent current service.
  • Service 11U Introduction of a new service connecting Nairn to UHI Inverness College
  • Service 25/25X Service 25 is proposed to operate up to every 30 minutes between Inverness and Invergordon and through Evanton every hour. Service 25X is proposed to link Dingwall, Evanton, Alness and Invergordon with an hourly frequency during the daytime.
  • Revised X99 All X99 journeys will serve Castletown before continuing to Wick/Dunbeath/Inverness removing need for connections at Dunbeath for Wick
  • Various Services Revised in conjunction with Highland Council contracts. 

In addition, the company are holding four consultation events in the area, inviting customers to come along, to view the timetables and speak to local staff. Events are planned to take place in Inverness, Invergordon and Caithness. 

At the events customers will be able to pass on their feedback and gain answers to any questions regarding the proposed schedules.

Mr Whitelocks added: “It’s always difficult to please everyone with network changes such as these, so we want to be able to explain the proposed changes and the benefits that they have, particularly where services will be altered - we hope the events will be well attended by bus passengers.”

Overall the draft timetables should deliver improved reliability across the network and will improve services across the region with more direct routes on many journeys. 

The proposed timetables and network maps are now available to view here, all feedback is welcomed to [email protected]

The deadline for feedback is Friday 25th November 2016 at 12pm