Alasdair Allan MSP is encouraging Islanders to take part in the Community Conversation events being run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar regarding their planned redesign of the bus services.
He has also written to the Comhairle to raise the concerns people have expressed to him about the short time people have been given in which to give their views.
Community Conversation events take place today Monday 24th June and Tuesday 24th June at various locations around the Islands, details of which are on the Comhairle website.
The majority of options being made available by the Comhairle will have quite severe implications for those who live outside Stornoway, such as no evening service after 6pm, restricted workers buses in the morning and a pared-down daytime service.
The MSP said: “It is really important that people make their voices heard on their need for a good bus service, especially as the Comhairle has given people less than a week to respond.”
“Only one of the options being presented retains evening services which will have a major impact on those who live outside Stornoway both in terms of access to work as well as socially. The paring down of services during the day will also impact some of the most vulnerable in society.
“I urge everyone to make their views known to the Comhairle as soon as possible.
"I also urge the Comhairle to consider lengthening the consultation period to allow people an adequate amount of time to respond, as less than a week to respond on changes of this magnitude really isn’t enough.”
At the Community Conversations held during April/May 2019, it was agreed that further Community Conversations would be scheduled once the transport tender contracts were returned and evaluated.
The Comhairle held a Members’ Seminar on Thursday 23rd May 2019 to consider the tender outcomes and the financial and service implications. The Comhairle, in order to meet its service redesign implementation date, will meet on Wednesday 26th June 2019 to award the contracts.
In order that all communities affected have an opportunity to express their views and have them considered by the Comhairle at its meeting on 26th June 2019, a series of Community Conversations are being held as shown below, and all members of the community are welcome to attend.
The timetable of Community Conversations is as follows: