West Coast Motors to improve service to Dunbeg
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.’