Rest & Be Thankful Bus Stop – Use it or lose it.
I have been advised that a temporary compromise agreement has been reached between Scottish Citylink Coaches Limited and Development and Infrastructure Services, Argyll and Bute Council, Lochgilphead to re-open the Rest & Be Thankful Bus Stop.
Citylink Coaches are prepared to begin serving the Rest and Be Thankful turning circle on the following conditions:
- The stretch of road leading to the junction with the A83 is widened prior to the reintroduction of vehicles to the turning circle on the 23rd May
- The reintroduction is done on a trial period over the summer with further discussion to take place regarding the Winter period
- We reserve the right to withdraw from serving the turning circle should it become unsafe and or blocked by cars, private coaches, HGV’s etc
- Only the 976 service will call in to the turning circle and this will be for pre booked passengers only. Passengers will be required to book 24 hours in advance via www.citylink.co.uk or calling 0871 266 33 33
- As discussed at the meeting, the three later journeys in each direction will call into the turning circle for pre booked passengers. These are the 10:30, 14:00 and 18:15 from Glasgow and the same departure times from Oban
- In the short time the bus stop was open, feedback from the residents who were fortunate enough to manage to start their journey in the village and connect at the Rest to continue their journey to Glasgow, said it was an excellent service – and one they would use again.
- We know that if the service is reliable, easy to use, and the timetables connect at the Rest – residents and visitors will support it.
- The conditions set out by Citylink are such that even if someone follows the rules and books their seat 24 hours in advance, there will no doubt be anxiety by the passenger should they arrive at the bus stop and find as much as a Suzuki Swift in the turning circle. No ifs, ands, or buts, all their best laid plans will be for nothing as they see the Citylink coach carry on its journey without stopping.
- The first time that happens word will get out in the village. The potential customers for this service will have no confidence that they will be able to complete their journey as planned.
- End result will be that when a review of the service is done it may well be that through a ‘lack of demand’ Citylink will use that as a reason to withdraw the service.
- By making a service difficult to use it may suit everyone involved that they are seen to be offering something. I hope that come the time of the review they will not use this as an excuse to withdraw the service.
- At this time in the region of £340,000 has been spent to provide this facility.
Iain MacInnes Lochgoilhead Community Council Vice Chair. Lead Councillor for this project and local roads.