Bus ‘guru’ pro­poses changes to timetable

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

AN OBAN pen­sioner has come up with a plan to im­prove bus ser­vices in the area and is now look­ing for sup­port from the com­mu­nity coun­cil to take matters for­ward.

Known af­fec­tion­ately as the ‘bus and train guru’, David Gal­lant can of­ten be seen us­ing pub­lic trans­port around the area. For a long time he has ad­vo­cated changes in the timetabling to im­prove ser­vices.

Im­por­tantly, Mr Gal­lant wants to make changes with­out an in­crease in costs to the coun­cil.

Speak­ing be­fore a com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ing, Mr Gal­lant said: ‘Mi­nor im­prove­ments can be made to morn­ing ser­vices and to some af­ter­noon ser­vices with­out any ex­tra costs.

‘The morn­ing im­prove­ments mainly ef­fect Catalina Av­enue and the af­ter­noon im­prove­ments mainly ef­fect Park Pri­mary School.

‘It is also pos­si­ble to pro­vide a bus ser­vice to McCaig’s Tower us­ing slack time on bus route 417.

‘In the evenings, there are buses from Soroba to Dunol­lie but none from Dunol­lie to Soroba. This needs to be re­versed be­cause there is much greater de­mand for evening buses from Dunol­lie to Soroba than the other way round. This can be done with­out any ex­tra subsidy for bus 401. Other im­prove­ments will have to wait un­til more fund­ing is avail­able

‘It is on Sun­days that the big­gest im­prove­ments can be made with no ex­tra cost. At present buses to North Con­nel and Ben­der­loch run hourly which is the same fre­quency as Mon­days to Satur­days.

‘By run­ning these buses less fre­quently, im­prove­ments can be made else­where.

‘In ad­di­tion, Sun­day buses that ter­mi­nate at Ben­der­loch from Soroba wait 18 min­utes at Ben­der­loch be­fore go­ing back to Soroba. This is a waste of re­sources.

‘By more ef­fi­cient sched­ul­ing, the avail­able driver hours can be used to pro­vide ser­vices to ar­eas that have no Sun­day buses at present.’

Mr Gal­lant has pro­duced de­tails of how these changes will im­pact 16 lo­ca­tions.

He said: ‘I would like all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity coun­cil and Ar­gyll and Bute coun­cil­lors for our area to look at my pro­pos­als and let me know whether they are for or against the pro­posed changes.’

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