Friday, 25 March 2011
Today, 25 March, the summer timetables for the buses in the Western Isles came into force. Until yesterday, all bus routes in Lewis and Harris had their timetables combined into a handsome little book, which was handed out free to all who were interested. As of today, timetables are handed out a route at a time (there are nearly two dozen different bus routes in Lewis and Harris). This may be convenient for residents (I doubt it), but is thoroughly inconvenient for visitors who may wish to use several different routes.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar advises that it has stopped producing the timetable booklets for reasons of cost. I find that poor service. £160,000 is being spent on slopping some emulsion paint and ceiling tiles on the reception area of the Comhairle’s HQ on Sandwick Road, but providing a service for one of the pillars of the local economy costs too much. Even if the costs were prohibitive (how much does it cost to produce a glossy, full-colour, 52 page A5 sized booklet?), a small charge could be levied to cover the costs.