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.