Concern over rural buses

Two local politicians are raising concerns about the impact on rural communities of a reduction in bus services.

 Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron said: “We all accept that the Covid-19 emergency would require radical changes in the way many of our services are run including our rural buses.

“However, I am concerned that after more than three months of lockdown, these changes are having a disproportionate impact on rural communities, particularly in areas like Argyll and Bute.

“This is a matter that I am taking up with ministers and Transport Scotland.”

Mr Cameron added: “I am bound to say that there never seems to be a lack of money for expensive transport projects in the Central Belt, such as the Queensferry Crossing or the Edinburgh tram system.

“That is why it is vital that Transport Scotland finds a tailored solution to meet the needs of people across the Cowal peninsula and beyond.”

Dunoon councillor Bobby Good,  Depute Policy Lead for Commercial Services and Strategic Priorities on Argyll and Bute Council, said: “We have seen a very serious contraction in our local bus service which is badly affecting the ability of people to get into towns like Dunoon.

“Unless this changes soon it raises serious questions about how we can revive our High Streets or sustain our essential services if key workers struggle to get into work and people can’t reach the shops.

“Large urban centres are fine, but smaller towns which depend on their rural hinterlands will face long-term problems.”