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Caithness bus group could be set up by March

By Gordon Calder

A NEW Caithness bus users' group could be set up by March, according to Highland councillor Struan Mackie.

He said the demise of the previous group "left a bit of a vacuum" and he would like to see another body set up as soon as possible.

"We would like to have something in place by March," he said this week.

"There has been no formal meeting in the last year and a lot has changed since then. We have a new bus provider operating in the county and changes made to the timetables."

Discussions have been taking place about how the body would be funded and operated and how it would be run. It may be possible for Highland Council to facilitate the new bus group, Councillor Mackie said.

A Stagecoach X99 service on Wick's Bridge Street.
A Stagecoach X99 service on Wick's Bridge Street.

"The group was the only forum where the public had a chance to speak to Stagecoach [bus operator] and express their views or concerns about the service," he said.

"The demise of the group left a bit of a vacuum and we would like to see something being constituted again and have the various operators and the public involved. We would like to have the new group up and running as soon as we can."

The bus users' group was run by the chamber of commerce and was attended by senior representatives from Stagecoach, Highland councillors and members of the public. It gave people a chance to raise issues regarding local bus travel.

As previously reported, local campaigner and former Castletown Community Council chairwoman Brenda Herrick was disappointed to find out the Caithness Bus Users’ Group had come to the end of the road.

"I was so shocked by the decision which seems to have been made without telling anyone. We need another bus users’ group and I would hope that a new one could be set up soon," she said.

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