Night bus services are to operate in Mainland until March 2023. The services are in addition to late night buses already available on the X1 and X10 timetables.
The buses, leave Kirkwall and serve East Mainland (3E), West Mainland (7E) and Kirkwall & Orphir (9E) on Friday and Saturday nights.
Click on this link to download a copy of the timetable: Evening Bus Service
The new service routes have been fully funded by the Scottish Government through the Smarter Choices Smarter Places scheme. The buses will be operated by Stagecoach.
The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) initiative was developed to encourage more people to reduce their car use in favour of more sustainable alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport.
Kick Start Kirkwall (2009 – 2012)
Orkney Islands Council’s Kick Start Kirkwall scheme was a £1.28 million project (2009 – 2012) of which more than £760,000 came from the Scottish Government. It was also part of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places initiative. It aimed to get more people active and to change their behaviour to encourage more walking, cycling and bus use. Although its focus was Kirkwall it aimed to review bus services. The final report of the project in March 2013 noted that ” Attitudes towards many aspects of bus travel appear to have either stayed the same or deteriorated since 2009″ Kirkwall Monitoring Report
Since then we have seen an improvement in the buses themselves with the new low emission vehicles that are easier to access. There has also been an extension to concessionary travel in Scotland including for all young people under 22. Click on this link for information on : How to apply for or renew your National Entitlement Card
There is also a new flexible bus ticket. Click on this link for information: Flexi 5 – Flexible day tickets across Scotland
Car usage is still very high in Mainland with that being the choice for most people who work in Kirkwall – even those living within the town.
New Evening Bus
The East Mainland Evening Service 3E departs the Pickaquoy Centre at 10pm on Fridays and 8.00 pm on Saturdays (to coincide with cinema times), with another departure at 10.03 pm on Saturday nights, and goes via the Kirkwall Travel Centre, New Scapa Road, Kirkwall Airport, Shelia Fleet road end, Tankerness Hall, Dingieshowe, Lighthouse Corner (Deerness), St Andrews School, Wilderness Junction (Holm) before returning to the Kirkwall Travel Centre via New Scapa Road. Journey time is just over 1 hour.
The West Mainland Evening Service 7E departs the Kirkwall Travel Centre at 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights, with an earlier departure of 8pm on Saturdays, and goes via the Pickaquoy Centre (Fridays only as as Picky closes early on Saturday), Finstown, Evie Hillside, Newton Road end, Birsay Palace, Twatt, Dounby and Harray before travelling back through Finstown to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. Journey time is 1hr 15 mins.
The Town and Orphir Evening service 9E leaves the Kirkwall Travel Centre at 10:05 pm on Friday and 8.05 pm Saturday night, and goes via the Pickaquoy Centre Hatston Park, Sunnybank Road, Soulisquoy Place, Scapa Road end, Orphir village, and Clestrain Junction via Scorradale, back through Orphir Village to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. Journey time is just under an hour.
Information about Bus Services in Orkney can be found here: Public Bus Services
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