14 Mar 2018
Stagecoach announces investment in Orkney
- Local bus operator confirms two double deck vehicles for local communities
Bus operator Stagecoach has announced further investment for bus passengers in Orkney.
The company - which runs 32 vehicles and employs 43 staff in Orkney - has confirmed two low-floor double deck buses will be introduced into service this month.
The introduction of the two double deck buses comes ahead of enhancements to the daily services the local bus company operate on the island and with them will come a series of service enhancements. Service X1 will double in frequency to operate every 30 mins from 30th March until 27th October. In addition to this, service 8S will be enhanced to provide more connections to Skara Brae and Ring of Brodgar. These changes will all better cater for the travel requirements of tourists while protecting the daily bus services that local communities rely on.
Service T11 will operate daily from 30th March allowing an affordable and convenient travel choice for visitors to the island over the summer months. The T11 service will be operated by the double deck vehicles and will depart from Kirkwall Travel Centre at 10am each day throughout the summer. Following feedback from Orkney Harbour Board the company will also introduce on-line bookings for the summer service for 2018 allowing visitors to plan their trip in advance of arriving.
Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: "We understand the importance of local bus services in Orkney and our team work hard to deliver vital services for local people day in, day out. We are pleased to be investing in our services and bringing two additional double deck buses to Orkney which will arrive on the island next week. We also look forward to putting into place our summer timetables and welcoming the many tourists that visit Orkney during the summer months."
Stagecoach recently held a series of public events to hear feedback from the local community on their bus services.
Mark Whitelocks added: "The feedback we gathered from the public events in February has been hugely beneficial. We operate over a million miles a year in Orkney and our team already do a good job in operating these to a good standard. We always want to do better and have recently made a number of changes to our internal practices and management team as well as invested in new equipment in our maintenance facilities to help us improve our service delivery. Feedback about cleanliness and condition of some of our fleet was disappointing and we are in the process of making further improvements to our cleaning and maintenance regimes within our Kirkwall depot. These include retraining of staff, better review of work done to ensure the training has been effective and standards are delivered as we expect as well as ensuring more time is allocated to cleaning. We are also currently deep-cleaning the whole fleet in Orkney and with the other changes that we are making we believe these actions will help us regularly achieve a better standard of presentation."
"Yesterday I met with some of our team in Kirkwall to discuss the feedback we received at the public events and also to identify further ways we can improve our service delivery on the island. I also met with Orkney Islands Council to discuss recent complaints and update council officials on our business and progress in responding to these complaints."
"We are making a lot of improvements to the bus services we operate in Orkney that I hope the local communities will appreciate in the months ahead. There has never been a Bus Matters event on the island before, this is something we arranged so as we could hear directly from our customers and we plan to run again. Our commitment to the local communities by enhancing the X1 and 8S schedules over the summer months in 2018 should also be welcome news and help our customers enjoy the spectacular scenery from the top deck on their journey between Stromness, Kirkwall and St Margarets Hope. We have plans to continue to improve the experience of travelling by bus in Orkney over the next few months and will look forward to announcing these in the months ahead."
Timetables for Stagecoach services in Orkney from 30th March - 27th October are available here - http://stge.co/M7tt30iW1FU