West Coast Mo­tors to im­prove ser­vice to Dun­beg

The Oban Times - - News -

WEST COAST MO­TORS said this week that it will put its largest buses on the Oban to Dun­beg route in or­der to meet the de­mands of cus­tomers, writes David McPhee.

But calls for a half-hourly ser­vice to be rein­tro­duced on the route have been turned down be­cause the Scot­tish Govern­ment fund­ing that paid for this is no longer avail­able.

The move to the larger ve­hi­cles fol­lows com­plaints that a num­ber of buses have been full to ca­pac­ity by the time they reach the Dun­beg, leav­ing some res­i­dents hav­ing to wait an hour for the next bus.

Dis­grun­tled res­i­dents ini­tially raised con­cerns with the com­mu­nity coun­cil.

Sean Mac­In­tyre, chair­man of Dun­beg Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, said: ‘I was told that what hap­pens at this time of year is that the buses fill up at Ledaig Car­a­van Park as it’s cheaper for peo­ple to get the bus than park in town. Ob­vi­ously if there’s a call for it, they should put more buses on.

‘ We are go­ing to try and get some­one from West Coast Mo­tors to come along to our next com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ing in Septem­ber.’

Oban North and Lorn coun­cil­lor, Iain Ma­cLean, said: ‘I whole­heart­edly sup­port any ini­tia­tive to im­prove the bus ser­vice to and from Dun­beg.

‘I still think there is a need for a half-hourly bus ser­vice from Dun­beg to Oban dur­ing the busiest sum­mer months, which is borne out by the re­oc­cur­rence of un­der ca­pac­ity seat­ing again this year.

‘The main ob­sta­cle in the way is still one of sus­tain­ing a year-round ser­vice with­out public fund­ing sup­port.’

Man­ag­ing direc­tor of West Coast Mo­tors, Colin Craig, said: ‘ We did ex­pe­ri­ence full buses on a cou­ple of jour­neys dur­ing Easter and Oban Live, but this only oc­curred on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions and is not, so far, a re­flec­tion of dayto- day load­ings.

‘Like last sum­mer, we are keep­ing a close eye on pa­tron­age lev­els and will be op­er­at­ing the 005/405 ser­vice with our largest ca­pac­ity ve­hi­cles at peak times to meet de­mand.’

A spokesman for Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil said: ‘The present fre­quency of jour­neys re­flects av­er­age use. How­ever, in con­sul­ta­tion with the op­er­a­tor we will keep the sit­u­a­tion un­der re­view.

‘Re­gret­tably, the pre­vi­ous half-hourly ser­vice was re­liant on Scot­tish Govern­ment fund­ing, which is no longer avail­able.’

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