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Inverness residents share bus concerns

By Staff Reporter

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Munro Ross.
Munro Ross.

CONCERNS over bus timetables and vehice accessibility have been raised at a public meeting in Inverness.

Raigmore Community Centre hosted the event, and Stagecoach commercial director Daniel Laird attended to hear about residents’ issues.

Raigmore Community Council chairman Munro Ross helped organise the meeting, which followed a similar gathering at the Spectrum Centre in July which was arranged by city MP Drew Hendry.

Mr Ross said: “There are many issues on the estate concerning buses: many elderly people and families with pushchairs live in the area, some of the vehicles have a higher floor and often bus drivers are not able or willing to use the lowering system appropriately.

“The evening service is basically non-existent, and when the meeting was organised in July, many couldn’t go because there wouldn’t have been a bus on the way back.”

He added that issues with the new timetable included a lack of adequate services for people to go to religious services on Sundays.

But he was pleased people could raise issues with Mr Laird.

“I think that people who were present left with a more positive feeling after the discussion.

“We agreed with Stagecoach to have another meeting in three months so that we can monitor if any progress has been made and present any ongoing issues to the company.”

After the meeting, Mr Laird said: “We are aware of issues regarding our service delivery in the area and we are working hard to resolve these.

“In the Inverness area we have reduced the level of breakdowns by 41 per cent in the last three months. When customers can provide us with specific details regarding the date, time and stop they have had a problem with, it really helps us to improve on these situations.

“The punctuality of our services is influenced by the conditions we operate in and we are looking forward to the new bus priority link road [at Inverness Campus] opening in the near future as the frequent gridlock traffic in Inverness also has an influence on the punctuality of our services.

“These changes to infrastructure should have an extremely positive influence on the bus network in Inverness.”

Mr Hendry said Stagecoach has a lot to do to restore passengers’ trust.

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