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Bus company to increase services in north

By Gordon Calder

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Stagecoach has a number of extra measures in place to ensure its services are Covid-19 secure.
Stagecoach has a number of extra measures in place to ensure its services are Covid-19 secure.

STAGECOACH is to step up its bus services in the north next week as the coronavirus restrictions are eased in Scotland.

The company is introducing new timetables as from Monday as well as extra protective measures for its drivers and passengers.

Face coverings are mandatory and social distancing measures will be in operation on all buses. Maximum capacity on board will be reduced and, to help passengers plan their their journey in advance, Stagecoach has introduced a busy bus indicator available on its app.

Sam Greer, the company's regional director in Scotland, said: "We are pleased to be starting to step up our services to support the gradual reopening of aspects of daily life across Scotland. We have a number of extra measures in place to make sure that our services are Covid-19 secure and to help people plan their journeys and use our services safely.

"In line with government regulations, face coverings are now mandatory on all bus services, and this will be enforced by Police Scotland. We are reminding people that they need to wear a face covering when travelling on our services, and we are confident the vast majority of people will do the right thing to ensure the safety of themselves, our employees and other customers.

"Our enhanced cleaning regime remains in place and we have also fitted protective screens to all our buses between the driver and customer. As an additional protection measure we would appreciate if passengers can pay for their journey using contactless payment or purchase your ticket in advance on our mobile app.

He added: "We remain extremely proud of the fantastic efforts of all of our employees across the country in recent months. Our people have made a huge contribution to the national effort and we’d like to thank every one of them and our customers for their support.

"Buses will continue to play a crucial role in the country’s recovery ahead. As well as helping to restart our economy, they are vital in bringing normality back to many areas of our daily lives. They keep people connected and have a major role in delivering safer, cleaner and healthier communities."

The new timetables are available to download, but you can get in touch with the company on Twitter @StagecoachHLand or via email on highland.enquiries@stagecoachbus.com.

The company points out that its travel shop in Inverness remains closed until further notice and as a result phone lines are not being monitored.

Caithness update (from Monday):

Service 77 will be reintroducedto provide two return trips Monday to Friday between Wick and John O Groats.

Service 80, 81 and 82 will continue to operate to their current timetables.

Service X99 will be reintroduced to provide two return trips Monday to Saturday between Caithness and Inverness, with a single return on Sundays. Service X99 will replace the current Service X98 timetable.

All Dounreay services with the exception of service 276 are currently suspended until further notice.

All school services continue to be suspended until further notice.

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