Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moss-side bus withdrawal - users claim they got one week’s notice- Highland Council got ten – why didn’t they warn the community?

One of the parents protesting about the withdrawal of the Moss-side school bus Gerri McNab told the Nairnshire in an interview that was published on May 25th:
"Giving a week’s notice was ridiculous. How did they expect people who had used the bus for years to suddenly find other forms of transport. If they had been using the bus it was probably because they didn’t have other means of transport."

It emerged at a meeting held by River Community Council on Tuesday night however that Highland Council knew a full ten weeks in advance that the withdrawal would take place. In situ to talk about problems concerning public transport (mainly issues about getting to the hospital from the Fishertown) was Mr Robert Edwards a Highland Council senior transport officer. He told the meeting that they get 70 days notice of a change from Stagecoach and that they usually informed local members and ward members, he went on to say that Stagecoach should display information about the change 21 days beforehand.

Liz was also present and stated that she received a copy of all the bus time tables about a month ago but this document didn’t specify any changes. Community Councillor Ian Gordon was outraged by the 70 day revelation and said:

We’ve a 40 day period where everyone is sitting on their butts doing nothing when we could have organised a protest or whatever. Why was that not made available to us quicker so we could act upon it?’ Liz then qualified her statement to say that she got the new timetables about the same time as the article appeared in the Nairnshire. Ian continued, ‘An awful lot of people that do not have private transport are dependent on public transport and we cannot just sit and pontificate around this table if we are comfortable with private transport and not looking after the people that need it.’

It then emerged from Mr Edwards that the first 14 days of the 70 have to remain confidential but that still leaves 8 weeks where Nairn folk could have been informed of this change – why weren’t they? Protests had to be organised and the media contacted by parents almost after the event. It might have perhaps been a different story if those parents and their supporters had had a full eight weeks to campaign to keep their bus. Highland Council you should have warned the community – what went wrong and will you make sure it doesn’t happen again?


growtosow said...

maybe the blackberry was not working when they can not pass on information such as this. but a again i am not surprised as this is how they seem too do things. the community are the last too know. perhaps it was meant too be kepted a secret. who knows how HC work?

Mal Function said...

Yet another example of the failure of both elected Council members and HC officials to consider and act in the interests of local residents.

Council officials spent a lot of money on producing glossy questionnaires on community care, and consultation documents on the budget cuts, and have taken up valuable hours of Ward forum time on Powerpoint shows. Yet they totally failed to notify and publicise and consult over matters such as these bus-service changes, which have an immediate and direct impact on local people.

Neglect, incompetence, or just a totally skewed sense of priorities? We need to press our elected Council members to get a grip...

growtosow said...

brick wall comes too mind on this one.