10 May 2017
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has again met with Citylink senior management regarding the ongoing issues suffered by passengers travelling between Stornoway and Ullapool and those requiring access to the vital bus link onwards to Inverness.
This meeting was further to initial meetings and discussions where the MSP followed up on complaints from constituents who had suffered due to the lack of seats on the vital route and in some cases became stranded in Ullapool.
Following the earlier meeting City link Operations Director Peter Knight ensured there was additional provision of buses over the Easter holiday period.
Mrs Grant said, “Following the initial meeting with Mr Knight where it was highlighted that passengers were facing the prospect of arranging alternative transport or being stranded in Ullapool due being unable to book seats on the bus, it was agreed to make extra buses available over the Easter period and then review the position at this latest meeting.
“Following this action there were no passengers reported as having being left without a seat on the bus either from Ullapool or Inverness during the period.”
Mr Knight added, “Since being made aware of these issues we have taken this matter very seriously and have closely monitored the position over the last few weeks. We have added buses where they were required.
“I have also met with Calmac Management and staff in Stornoway and agreed a process whereby Calmac will alert Citylink of any increased passenger numbers when they are boarding which allows my team the time to make arrangements to ensure no one will be stranded.
“We have put in place regular checks through the day on the online booking system to ensure it has not filled up and closed.”
Mrs Grant concluded “I welcome these initiatives.
“However I would encourage anyone having difficulty booking online to contact Citylink immediately.
“Citylink have confirmed provision will then be made to accommodate them. I will be monitoring these measures going forward and also welcome the possibility of Wi-Fi on the bus route in the near future.
“I would like to thank Peter and his staff along with Calmac for their hard work and commitment to eliminating the problems of the past on this route”.