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Call for community transport scheme in Black Isle and Dingwall (14/09/10)
The Ross-shire Transport Forum has put its full weight behind a call to develop a community transport scheme for the Black Isle and Dingwall area. At a meeting held in The Highland Council’s Chamber in Dingwall, members of the forum agreed to take the initiative forward supported by both Highland Council’s Black Isle and Dingwall Ward Forums.
The transport forum also agreed to send a letter of support for the re-opening of the Conon Railway Station to Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson.
Sheila Fletcher, Chair of the Ross-shire Transport Forum said: “The re-opening of Conon Railway Station would be a major development of public transport provision in Mid-Ross. It was given top priority at Ross-shire Transport Forum’s Seminar last year and we all hope that progress is made in the near future in bringing the project to fruition.”
Referring to the community transport proposals Highland Councillor Billy Barclay said: “We have a reasonably successful system with Dial-A-Bus, however, I know there are areas in the Black Isle that this does not work for because of limited operating times. We need to look at the big picture and find out what would work for the whole community. It is important that any service which is subsidised by The Highland Council is good value for money and accessible to the people of the Black Isle and Dingwall.”
Highland Councillor David Alston added: “Dial a bus has worked well for some people but we need to use the resources we have to provide access for everyone, in particular older people. We need to help people get to shops, doctor’s surgeries, the chemist and to make sure they can keep their social contact even if they can no longer drive.”
The Ross-shire Transport Forum was formed following calls for improvements to local transport by The Highland Council’s Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Forum. A transport seminar was held in Dingwall in October 2009 to determine interest and the forum was constituted after that event.
Highland Councillor Angela MacLean said: “I am encouraged by the positive steps taken by the transport forum to work with both stakeholders and transport providers to improve transport accessibility and the service provided to the travelling public.”
To date the forum has been focussing on improvements to local bus service provision. A series of meetings with bus operator Stagecoach has resulted in the number 61 service to Ullapool being saved and a review of local services in the Mid and East Ross area being carried out.
The next meeting of the transport forum will be held in the Council Chamber, Dingwall on Wednesday 20th October at 6pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.