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Scottish Citylink announces summer timetable as Highlands and Islands services return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels

By Ian Duncan

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Scottish Citylink.
Scottish Citylink.

Coach operator Scottish Citylink has confirmed major service enhancements across the Highlands and Islands this summer to help reconnect people across the region.

The company's new summer timetable marks a return to pre-Covid-19 levels of service on the Scottish Citylink network.

The enhanced services, which will launch on Monday, coincide with the reopening of many parts of the leisure and hospitality sector in Scotland with many people gearing up to enjoy staycations, trips away and reunions with friends and family.

The key service announcements across the Highlands and Islands include:

• A new direct link (Service 913) from Edinburgh and Perth to Fort William, operating one journey each day, which also offers connections to Oban and Skye, and connections at Perth allowing passengers from Aberdeen and Dundee to access west coast destinations;

• Service levels doubled on Service 917 between Inverness and Skye to four round trips per day, with a continued extension to Raigmore Hospital;

• The introduction of four additional round trips each day between Glasgow and Fort William

• Enhanced service levels on routes between Inverness and Urquhart Castle (Service 919/920) and between Glasgow and Campbelltown (Service 926);

• Increased weekday and Sunday services between Glasgow and Oban via Tyndrum on Service 976/977.

Robert Andrew, director of Scottish Citylink, said: “The next few months is an important and exciting time for people across Scotland as restrictions are easing and we are able to travel again and reconnect with our friends and families.

“We’re delighted to be able to play our part in helping people enjoy staycations and reunions with the launch of our comprehensive summer timetable. It’s very encouraging to be offering pre-pandemic service levels again and I believe public transport will continue to play a crucial role in the country’s recovery ahead.

“We thank our customers in advance for their continued role in following our Covid-19 safe travel guidance including wearing face coverings, social distancing and booking in advance wherever possible.”

Neil MacRae, partnership manager with HITRANS, welcomed the new summer timetable enhancements. He said: “With increased pressure on local infrastructure expected from people enjoying staycations in the Highlands and Islands this summer, these services offer an excellent sustainable option for travelling around the region.

“Having worked with Scottish Citylink and local partners on improving access to healthcare on Skye, we are particularly pleased to see provision for an increase in services between Inverness and Skye to four round trips per day, with a continued extension to Raigmore Hospital.”

All services can be booked here.

Covid-19 secure measures on the Scottish Citylink coach network include:

• A continued enhanced cleaning regime which includes daily and in-service cleaning of all coaches with a government-recommended sanitiser, with a particular focus on key touch points, and additional in service cleaning where possible;

• Anti-bacterial stations on board all coaches;

• Cleaning supplies to help drivers keep coaches clean during the day;

• Protective measures and equipment in place for all drivers;

• Increased filter changing schedules on air conditioning units;

• Social distancing measures will be in place on all coaches;

• Face coverings must be worn by law on all public transport in Scotland, and customers are reminded to wear a face covering on their Scottish Citylink journey.

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