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Council to trial late night bus service for East and West Mainland

New late night bus services leaving Kirkwall and serving East Mainland, West Mainland and Orphir are to be trialled by the Orkney Islands Council.

The trial starts this Friday night, July 1, and is being run at no extra cost to the council with funding from the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places scheme, with buses operated by Stagecoach.

It’s hoped the evening services will be attractive to people who are having a night at the cinema, a meal out in town, or visiting friends and family.

The timings have been designed to fit in with Pickaquoy Centre closing times, and have taken on board past feedback from the public.

The services are in addition to late night buses already available on the X1 and X10 timetable.

The East Mainland evening bus will serve parts of Toab and Holm (Moss Road) – between St Andrews Primary and Wilderness Junction — for the first time.

Laura Cromarty, OIC transportation manager said: “Being able to enjoy a night out and then get home safely without needing to drive is something many people have asked for in the past.

“So we’re pleased to have secured some funding through Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding to give these new late night services a trial in the county.

“We hope it will not only help people plan and enjoy more evenings out, it’s also a greener way to travel, it saves having to arrange lifts, and is free for Under 22’s, 60 plus and disabled customers in possession of a valid National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot Card.

“We also hope it will make it easier with current fuel prices for people to be able to leave their car at home.”

The trial will continue until March 2023. The council’s transport team will be reviewing the area and direction of the new routes, along with demand, early next year.

Comments from the public throughout the trial are welcome via transport@orkney.gov.uk

Leaflets detailing the new services are available from the Kirkwall Travel Centre, and OIC libraries and customer services in School Place Kirkwall and Warehouse Buildings, Stromness.

The timetable is also available at www.orkney.gov.uk/bus or call Stagecoach for more information on 01856 870 555.