Thursday, 24 September 2009

Busted buses

Scottish Citylink have advised their passengers to pre-book their seats, or run the risk of not being conveyed on their chosen service. This applies (of course) to the Ullapool to Inverness (and vice versa) service. Please note the date of this post: 24 September 2009.

On Friday 3 October 2008, I journeyed from Stornoway to Kirkwall, and this included the 55 miles bus trip from Ullapool to Inverness. On alighting from the MV Isle of Lewis at Ullapool in the morning, the busdriver was shouting at the top of his voice that only passengers with tickets would be allowed on board. Anyone without tickets had to wait until 5pm (7 hours later).This summer, the demand for travel to the Western Isles has been some 30% above that seen last year. Frought scenes have been played out at Inverness Bus Station, with people being left behind - with or without pre-booked tickets. Those with tickets were later conveyed to their destination by taxi, paid for by Citylink.

I am very displeased that it has taken Scottish Citylink TWELVE months to finally publicise their advice to the public in the Northwest Highlands.


  1. You've always had the option of pre-booking though, this isn't anything new, if you haven't booked and the bus is full then the bus company are under no obligation to get you to your destination.

  2. The reason I'm posting, Fraser, is that (to my knowledge) this was never a problem on this route. Citylink should have publicised this policy much more clearly, and it is not unique to Ullapool - Inverness. They should provide capacity IMHO.

  3. Well, I've actually seen both sides as I used to work for them years ago and now I just travel from time to time; they can try to forecast how many people are going to travel but the only way they will really know is if people book tickets, if people don't book then they won't always get to travel. There are booking offices at Stornoway and Inverness and you can easily book online so it's not exactly difficult.