Flights link­fear with­bus re­view

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - LOCAL NEWS -

Fears have been raised that an over­haul of bus timeta­bles in Mo­ray could neg­a­tively im­pact the re­gion’s in­ter­na­tional links.

Stage­coach is re­view­ing ser­vices to im­prove punc­tu­al­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity across the net­work. Yes­ter­day, the pro­pos­als were de­scribed as “mixed news” for Mo­ray.

The trans­port com­pany wants to with­draw the num­ber 11 ser­vice to In­ver­ness Air­port from El­gin and For­res – in­stead rec­om­mend­ing pas­sen­gers change at Nairn.

Last night, For­res coun­cil­lor Aaron McLean wel­comed the ex­tra stops at the town’s Enterprise Park, but was con­cerned chang­ing buses may de­ter peo­ple from tak­ing

“It’sbadthat part­sofMo­ray will­losedi­rect link­toair­port”

pub­lic trans­port to the air­port. He said: “It’s good news and bad news. There are hun­dreds of peo­ple who work at the Enterprise Park, who will ben­e­fit from an im­proved ser­vice. It’s bad that parts of Mo­ray will lose their di­rect link to In­ver­ness Air­port, par­tic­u­larly be­cause there’s go­ing to be a rail­way sta­tion built there in the fu­ture.”

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­pos­als, num­ber 10 buses head­ing to In­ver­ness would not stop at the air­port be­tween 7.30am and 11pm and only af­ter 9.30pm in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from Mon­days to Fri­days.

The pro­posed rail­way sta­tion for In­ver­ness Air­port at Dal­cross is ex­pected to open in 2020.

Yes­ter­day, Stage­coach in­sisted the changes, which could come into force on Jan­uary 8 next year, are not fi­nal and could yet be shaped by pub­lic feed­back.

The com­pany’s op­er­a­tions man­ager for Mo­ray, Craig Woodall, stressed it was im­por­tant to “strike a bal­ance” be­tween the num­ber of stops and jour­ney time when com­pil­ing timeta­bles.

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