By Nick Morrison
At the end of September, Orkney will receive the first of a new set of buses from operator Stagecoach. 34 new buses will eventually be delivered which are low floored and conform to Euro 6 low emission standards. The buses will all be fitted with seatbelts for use in public and school service.
Mainland public bus services have been awarded to Stagecoach for the next 8 years. Timetables can be viewed online here www.orkney.gov.uk/Bus or are on display at the Kirkwall Travel Centre.
Public Bus Services in Westray and Sanday will continue to be operated by existing contractors M & J Harcus and Sanday Enterprises, and the Island of Hoy Development Trust were awarded the contract to operate a one day per week public bus service on the island.
The award of school transport routes in Mainland went to several smaller operators, J&V Coaches, and Stagecoach. School services in Eday, Stronsay and East Holm will be re-tendered as no bids were received.
The cost of School and Public Bus Services for the first full year of operation is £5,379,899, compared with an existing budget available of £3,050,760.