John Mackie of Suburban Community Council has been vociferous over the years in his campaigning for a better bus service in the town. Last night at the regular meeting in Nairn Academy he outlined ongoing concerns about the town's bus service.
The most obvious concern is that the service to the hospital is inadequate even outside of the surreal fact that the town bus service doesn't stop in the bus station to connect with other services. If you are heading to the hospital for an appointment and take, say a service 10 into town, you have to walk over to the bus stop in the High Street for the 20 town service. Bizarre but true, and despite this being raised time and time again no one in authority seems to be able to sort this out. John Mackie claimed that it is easier to get a bus from the west of town to a Doctor's appointment in Ardersier than it is to one at the hospital in Nairn. The situation will get even worse if and when the Rosebank Pharmacy moves up to the hospital too.
John is also worried that when the Sainsbury funding runs out next year there may be no town bus service at all. He said: "Come August next year I suspect that bus will disappear."
Alistair Noble said: "The problem we've got is the problem that we've always got in that we don't know who is making these decisions.[...] If we could make local decisions we could come up with solutions."
To this observer Alistair is absolutely right, we pay people elsewhere to make decisions for us and it doesn't work. We also have four elected representatives that spend a great deal of their time going to Inverness to try and sort things out on our behalf but can we get a town bus service that goes into the bus station? When it comes to simple basic common sense alternatives like this it seems that community input can still be ignored by the system. This is wrong - more decisions need to be taken in Nairn, surely we can be trusted to decide where we want our buses to stop?