Bus information and timetables

September 2020

Ferintosh CC community bus consultation

Bruce Morrison, Ferintosh Community Council Secretary, writes

Attached is a consultation paper on what we hope you will think is an interesting new way of providing access for you to public and community bus transport for those living in our FCC area.  We're reviewing your feedback at the FCC monthly meeting a week on Monday (21st September).

A summary of the document is below

Residents of the Ferintosh Community Council (FCC) area, if supportive, will be able to trial a new public and community bus service model. If the trial over 16 months is successful, then the service will provide the possibility of journeys on all seven days and evenings as guided by the requests and needs of residents. ‘Door to door’ journeys on request will be possible. Journeys that link into all the A835 /A9 mainline commercial bus services will be possible. More efficient use of a smaller electric vehicle will be possible. Lower running costs securing more certainty for existing limited services will be possible.

The consultation paper goes into more detail of the model enabling FCC to ask residents their initial views of this approach (please complete the short questionnaire at the end). FCC is seeking views in time for its monthly meeting at 7pm on Monday 21st September 2020. If residents are broadly supportive, then a more detailed consultation with journeys and timetabling, fare and communication logistics and responses to initial queries will take place within a month. If residents’ feedback is broadly positive from that second consultation then Stage 1 of this pilot will go ahead. A Stage 2 of the pilot is envisaged and will be the subject of a later consultation.

Read the consultation paper    .PDF    .DOC

Additional consultation question added 18 September

Many thanks for your responses so far. In considering those for Monday's FCC meeting, I realise that more information from non-users would be valuable. So I'd like now to add this supplementary question for the vast majority of us who don't currently use (or rarely use) buses:

In the future, if you were unable to access private transport, which of the following two options would you be most likely to favour? Move house for easier access to the services you need /enjoy? Remain in your current house and use public  transport (e.g. Ferintosh Community Bus)?


June 2020  New timetables from 29 June

Stagecoach has announced increased services on many Inverness, Black Isle and Easter Ross routes from Monday 29 June, restoring many of the services withdrawn at the start of lockdown.  They remind intending passengers that face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in Scotland.  See the timetables below for details

All Inverness and Black Isle (PDF)

All Inverness and Black Isle (DOC)

Black Isle and Easter Ross   (DOC)

Stagecoach press release


February 2020   New Stagecoach bus timetables

Bus Timetable changes from 10 February 2020

Stagecoach North Scotland has published final online and downloadable timetables for services which started on 10 February.  Links for the separate timetables are below.

Summary of local changes

Aird and Dingwall

Black Isle

Easter Ross  

Stagecoach updates page with links to Inverness City, Loch Ness, Nairn and Caithness services.

Plea for better train-bus connection

TBI director Julian Paren has made a personal submission requesting that the departure time from Inverness of the 20.52  26A service to Fortrose and Cromarty be brought back closer to the arrival time of the daytime train from Kings Cross (20.06), which he argues would encourage more people to use it instead of taking their cars. At the time of writing (11 January) he had had no response from Stagecoach, and their latest proposals re-time the departure even later to 21.05.


August  2019   New Stagecoach bus timetables

Stagecoach North Scotland introduce new timetables for the BlackIsle and Easter Ross starting on Monday 19 August.  Changes affecting the Black Isle are the inclusion of additional Saturday services between Inverness and Cukbokie, and additional Saturday evening services berween Inverness and Fortrose.

The convenient and comprehensive 'Black Isle and Easter Ross Travel Guide' has been replaced by three separate guides for the Black Isle, Aird and Dingwall, and Easter Ross, with some overlapping and a few omissions.  If you wish to comment on this change, email Erin Abercrombie, Marketing and Design Assistant at  erin.abercrombie@stagecoachbus.com

The new timetables are available online as .PDF files

Black Isle (services 21, 22, 23, 26)

Aird and Dingwall  (services 25, 27, 28, 61)

Easter Ross (services 24, 25, 29, 30, 62)

(The links for the Aird and Dingwall and Easter Ross timetables have been changed by Stagecoach, and now display compressed PDF files which cannot be read without zooming the display).

The timetables will also be available in leaflet form from Stagecoach.

As an alternative to looking up the full online or printed timetables, you can get times for a particular route for a specified time period by going to the Stagecoach Plan-a-journey site at  www.stagecoachbus.com/plan-a-journey .


July 2019  'Dolphin Shuttle' bus now running

Despite warnings in January that they would not be providing a service this year, D & E Coaches are again running a shuttle bus service to Chanonry Point from Fortrose and Rosemarkie during July and August.

A general information leaflet about Chanonry Point and a timetable for the shuttle bus are available to download.

Black Isle and Inverness bus service changes January 2019

A range of changes to Black Isle and Inverness bus services took effect in January 2019.  The main element of the changes was the transfer of all but one of the public service contracts currently held by D&E Coaches to Stagecoach, together with mainly minor changes to some services, including a slightly improved commuter service between Inverness and Culbokie.  This takes the form of a direct service via Tore from Culbokie to Inverness at 07.50 and a return leaving Inverness at 17.35.  Following representations from Ferintosh Community Council, adjustments were made to allow this service (22) to connect with service 21 from Cromarty in the morning and to Cromarty in the evening. 

View all the Black Isles timetables here.  A printed copy of the timetables is available fron Inverness bus station.


October  2017    Culbokie service developments

September 2017    More activity on Culbokie service

August 2017    Half-hourly Inverness - Fortrose service restored

August 2017   Culbokie bus service  progress(?) report

See items below timetables


October  2017    Culbokie service developments

From the minutes of the 16 October meeting of Ferintosh Community Council:

ACTIVE PROJECTS: Buses: Evelyn reported that THC has sent the bus shelter dimensions to BEAR for installation in a few months time. THC closed applications for tendering a commuter bus service for Culbokie on 29 September. The results of the tender will be published towards the end of December. Evelyn met with Sheila Fletcher to hear more about the potential plans to extend the community car scheme. Evelyn has also written to the Traffic Commissioner to highlight the absence of a commuter service. SUSTRANS has just published a national report on travel poverty (where costs exceed 10% of income) and other disadvantages with Culbokie identified as a prime example and a future case study. Culbokie Action Group gained invaluable PR with exposure on both BBC and STV and were congratulated on the effectiveness of their campaign. Further lobbying to Cllr Gordon Adam would be carried out as well as to Kate Forbes and Rhoda Grant (Action: Evelyn). Citizens Advice Bureau is conducting a Scotland Your Bus, Your Say campaign into which FCC councillors will make their individual contributions.


September 2017    More activity on Culbokie service

From the minutes of the 18 September meeting of Ferintosh Community Council:

BUSES: Evelyn reported on the recent activity by residents /FCC /Councillors /MSP /THC to find a way of providing safe and sustainable commuter services for Culbokie residents. Representatives from THC and Hi Trans together with Cllr Fraser and Kate Forbes MSP made the commuter journey from Duncanston to Inverness to experience at first hand the uncomfortable, unsafe and unreliable current provision. Stagecoach submitted a cost for re-instating the A9 diversion through Culbokie but the cost was considered prohibitive by THC. In the next few weeks THC is completing a community services tender and in parallel, the Black Isle Community Car Scheme is being offered a mini bus and driver training to see whether BICCS can put together an acceptable service. The outcomes of those two approaches will be quickly reviewed by FCC to then agree both a response and further action.


August 2017    Half-hourly Inverness - Fortrose service restored

From Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community        Council website     4 August 2017

No 26 Bus Route

Highland Council has awarded a contract to Stagecoach to enhance the bus service between Fortrose and Inverness to half hourly.  This has been made possible using developer contributions from the new housing.  Funding will only be available to support the contract for one year.  It is hoped that after this the route will become commercially viable.

As a consequence of this contract award, Stagecoach has also decided to remove the North Kessock diversion from the Cromarty buses for most of the day (peak hour Cromarty buses will still divert into North Kessock) and instead provide a separate service for North Kessock.


August 2017   Culbokie bus service  progress(?) report

The following is an extract from the minutes of the meeting of Ferintosh Community Council held on 21 August 2017, which was attended by David Summers, Transport Development Officer for Highland Council, and where the village's case for better bus services was put by Community Councillor Evelyn Campbell.

BUSES: David Summers, Transport Development Officer, Highland Council, attended this Community Council meeting to respond to requests for information and an update on the ongoing situation with the lack of peak time provision of bus services between Culbokie and Inverness. 

Evelyn began by outlining the situation to date and put forward the following points:
1) Once THC found out that Culbokie would no longer have a lifeline service this information was not passed back to the committee for further consideration.
2) A FOI request for a list of all subsidised services shows that Culbokie is not being treated equally to other areas.
3) The recent HiTrans Regional Strategy states that rural communities must have safe and reliable lifeline services.  Even with the interim provision from D and E Coaches, Culbokie does not have this.
4) Could the South Side of the Black Isle, which currently has half hourly buses to Inverness, have the Service reduced to allow the re introduction of the Culbokie Service?
5) Could we lose the two published services from Inverness in to the village at 7.20am and 7.25am and have them replaced at more crucial times?
6) Mr. Summers had advised Evelyn that a paper would go to the Places Committee to apprise them of the situation and consider allocation of a new service or a community option.  This did not happen.
7) A community transport option has been explored, without consultation with the community.  It is believed this would not start until January and would only provide a service to A9 similar to the one currently provided by D and E.  People will still have to stand on the edge of the slip road to the A9 with no pavement, lighting or shelter.  An already dangerous situation that is set to increase as we head in to the shorter days.
Evelyn, as a Community Councillor representing residents, feels that Highland Council need to accept responsibility for not providing committee with accurate information and need to resolve the situation by providing a safe and equitable service to the people of Culbokie.  Following a conversation with Kate Forbes MSP at her recent surgery in Culbokie, she is happy to give us her support.

Mr. Summers was invited to respond to the above points, and explain what he and his dept. have put in to place to resolve matters.
1) The information that Culbokie would no longer have a lifeline service was not passed back to committee as no further committee meetings took place prior to the change in timetable.
2) Losing the two published services at 7.20am and 7.25am would not save a penny as they are already part of the cost of the contract.  If these buses don’t appear in the timetable then grant funding would be withdrawn.
3) The hourly service on the South Side of the Black Isle is a commercial service, not a subsidised service.
4) The re-introduction of half hourly buses on the South Side of the Black Isle is as a result of developer funding.
5) If a reduction in the middle of the day, or the loss of the Saturday service were a possibility, then it may be possible to re introduce peak hour buses.
6) Highland Council have asked Stagecoach for a quote to reinstate the service and a price for providing a separate bus, but no decisions can be made on these until committee meet.
7) Discussions with Community Car scheme have taken place, with the suggestion that Highland Council would provide them with a bus that would take people to and from Inverness.  There is the possibility of a paid driver, or a definite pool of volunteers to run the bus so that residents would not be left high and dry if a volunteer driver called in sick or had to take time off.

With the Places Committee not meeting again until 8/11/17 and even allowing for the possibility of options being discussed at the Area Meeting on 25/10/17 this did not answer what Highland Council intended to do now.

Cllr Barclay raised the possibility of an emergency meeting being held, but Mr. Summers felt this was highly unlikely to happen.  Highland Council are committed to providing a bus shelter, but require agreement from BEAR Scotland.


TBI and Public Meeting response to April 2017 timetable changes

The commuter bus service from Culbokie to Inverness provided by the diversion of some morning and evening Inverness-Tain 25X and 25U services through the village, is set to end shortly.

In response to this and other changes to Black Isle bus services due to come into effect on 24 April, TBI Convenor Martin Sherring wrote to Highland Council's Transport Devrlopment Officer to protest about the cuts on behalf of TBI, and the Culbokie Action Group called a public meeting in Culbokie on 20 April.  Representatives from Highland Council and D&E Coaches were present, but the intended representative from Stagecoach was unable to attend owing to illness.

Read Martin's letter to David Summers.

There was a positive outcome to the public meeting in the form of a proposal from D&E Coaches that it might be possible to provide an indirect commuter service by using D&E's new 405 Dingwall – Cromarty service to connect with the 25X at Duncanston crossroads.  It appeared that a connection could be made with existing timings in the evening and this service could therefore start on 24 April, but that the first morning service leaving Cromarty at 07.37 would need to be re-timed slightly later, and it might take up to four weeks for this change to a contracted service to be authorised.  D&E  and Highland Council would discuss urgently the action necessary to bring this service into being.  D&E also offered to provide an additional bus to connect with the 25U to the UHI campus, for the benefit of students, but this may not be necessary if the re-timed Cromarty – Dingwall service connects with the 25U anyway.


Traveline Scotland provides information about all Stagecoach Highland services and all Scottish bus operators.  Unfortunately most people will find the Traveline timetables difficult to read because of the small size of the type.  Stagecoach timetables are better.

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