Changes to two bus services in North Kintyre, Mid Argyll and Cowal will come into force from Wednesday 17 August 2011. The services affected are the 448 from Skipness to Tarbert and Lochgilphead and the 477, 478, 479 Dunoon to Portavadie and Rothesay returning to Dunoon service.
Two journeys on the 448 service between Tarbert and Lochgilphead will be withdrawn. This leaves the 1015 from Tarbert to Lochgilphead and 1117 return as the only service 448 journeys operating between Tarbert and Lochgilphead. They will continue to operate Monday to Saturday. Journeys between Skipness and Tarbert will remain at three return journeys Monday to Saturday but these will be subject to minor timing changes.
For passengers travelling from Tarbert, alternative journeys are available by Scottish Citylink Coaches service 926. Return journeys from Lochgilphead at 1429 and 1629 by Citylink 926 will be met at Tarbert by service 488 which will provide a link to the Portavadie ferry, Monday to Saturday. The change to this service will save the council £13,950.92 a year.
These services don’t operate on a commercial basis and need a high level of council support to keep them going. They were originally funded with a special ring-fenced grant provided by the Scottish Government but this doesn’t exist anymore.
Transport Spokesperson, Councillor Duncan MacIntyre said “I’m sorry these services have been reduced and changed. There were some difficult decisions to make on how to make savings on public transport in Argyll and Bute. I’d encourage people to look at the council’s website to make a note of the changes.”
When it set its budget in February, the council took the decision to reduce the funding available for discretional transport projects and routes by £470,000. This left only £275,000 available to support schemes across the council area in 2011-12. As a result, all former rural transport grant funded initiatives were put through an evaluation process based on cost, use and social considerations before
Timetables at bus stop information panels on the council’s website, www.argyll-bute.gov.uk , will be updated as soon as possible. Up to date information is also available from Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
In a change to the 477, 478, 479 service there will be an additional journey each way between Dunoon and Portavadie, Monday to Friday. An extra 478 service will leave Dunoon at 0640 on schooldays and 0619 on school holidays. The extra return journey will leave Portavadie for Dunoon at 1845 Monday to Friday. This improvement to the service has been achieved at no additional cost to the council because West Coast Motors has agreed to operate empty placing journeys as ordinary service journeys.
In a separate development following school transport changes, some journeys in the Colintraive and Glendaruel areas will be subject to alteration. On schooldays service 478 from Portavadie at 0737 will operate ten minutes later and arrive in Dunoon at 0856. Passengers using the 477 service connection into this journey which leaves Rothesay at 0722 will arrive in Dunoon ten minutes later at 0856. The school journeys which extend to South Hall Farm near Colintraive will be cut back to Kyles View.