View­point

The Oban Times - - LETTERS -

There

is no doubt­ing the im­por­tance of pub­lic trans­port across Lochaber, es­pe­cially given the ru­ral na­ture of so much of the region.

In­deed, the cru­cial links pro­vided by our pub­lic trans­port providers are given even sharper re­lief as a re­sult of ever-in­creas­ing aware­ness of cli­mate change and the need to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

So it should come as lit­tle surprise that pub­lic trans­port is a sub­ject that arouses very strong emo­tions for a large num­ber of people.

As a re­sult, Skye, Lochaber and Bade­noch MSP Kate Forbes is quite right to raise concerns about the High­land Coun­cil’s re-ten­der­ing de­ci­sions, which came into force on Mon­day. Ms Forbes has said that the 15 per cent bud­get re­duc­tion im­posed by the lo­cal author­ity had ‘dis­pro­por­tion­ately dec­i­mated’ timeta­bles.

This is a very se­ri­ous mat­ter. Pub­lic trans­port is vi­tal for our re­mote and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, where people – of­ten rep­re­sent­ing an age­ing de­mo­graphic – rely ab­so­lutely on buses for life­line ser­vices.

Yes, the coun­cil has to find sav­ings but re­mov­ing es­sen­tial ser­vices is go­ing too far.

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