Call for bus bosses to amend new timetables
A LOCHABER councillor has demanded bus operators meet to discuss ‘inconvenient changes’ to timetables.
Anger over the new timetables, to be introduced on Monday April 24, was mounting on Monday night as south Lochaber residents voiced their concerns at the Duror and Kentallen Community Council meeting.
As reported in the Lochaber Times on March 30, residents are feeling cut off as a result of poor bus services.
Those feelings were echoed by more south Lochaber residents and two women who had travelled from Oban to the meeting on Monday night.
Fort William and Ardnamurchan councillor Andrew Baxter pledged to demand a bus summit between Stagecoach and West Coast Motors to discuss the timetabling of buses on the entire length of the journey between Inverness, Fort William and Oban, ‘to see if some common sense can prevail, meaning that the inconvenient changes to the Fort William to Oban service are not needed’.
Kentallen resident Sally Morris highlighted concerns about West Coast Motors changing its 918 service from Fort William to Oban from April 24.
Currently a bus leaves Fort William at 7pm but because of ‘insufficient demand’ the service is being withdrawn, to be replaced with a 5.10pm bus.
At the meeting she said she was ‘really upset’ about the change and hoped something could be done to stop changes. Mr Baxter said he would talk to the council about supporting an occasional Duror to Ballachulish service to connect with the 44 Kinlochleven to Fort William service. He said he would also to talk to Stagecoach about the possibility of ‘adding a loop’ into some journeys on the existing 44 service to reach other south Lochaber areas. Residents highlighted that the services to Fort William and Oban are a lifeline.
One woman said: ‘We are really stuck where we live if services change. This is my access to a pint of milk.
‘A taxi is a dear do and there are many elderly people in this community who can’t drive or don’t want to drive, but have to to get to a shop.’
Mr Baxter told the Lochaber Times he will be writing to the Transport Minister to highlight the problems rural communities in North Argyll and Lochaber are facing when dealing with bus companies operating commercial contracts but ignoring customers.
Damian MacDonald and Kirsty Kyle first revealed plans for the play area in Caol in 2015.