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1/12/2023 - Bikes on Buses scheme extended to meet demand


A service introduced in 2021 allowing commuters and tourists to take their bikes on popular Highland bus routes is to be extended to a wider range of routes.  A bonus is the introduction of a booking service to guarantee a seat to accompany free carriage of the bike.


The pilot service began in summer 2021, a partnership between operators Scottish Citylink and Stagecoach and funded by HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands.  


Two reusable bike socks (covers) were made available on coach services provided by Stagecoach between Inverness and Caithness and Ullapool, and by Scottish Citylink on services between Inverness and Skye, Fort William and Ullapool.  The covers fit easily over the wheels and chain mechanism, allowing the bike to be safely carried in the luggage compartment of the coach.


Data gathered during the pilot shows that the Ullapool/Inverness route was the most popular for bike carriage, mainly due to people returning from completing the Hebridean Way cycle route.


The majority of feedback during the trial period was from potential customers wishing to have the comfort and security of being able to book their bike on the bus when they purchase their ticket.


As a result Scottish Citylink have introduced a booking service which enables travellers to book their bike on the bus at the same time they make their seat reservation, which is now live for travellers in 2023.  Bike space can be reserved as an Additional Hold Item when buying a ticket online.


Routes to be included in the service are:

o   917: Inverness / Portree

o   919: Inverness / Fort William

o   961: Inverness / Ullapool

o   914: Fort William / Glasgow

o   915: Uig / Fort William / Glasgow

o   916: Uig / Fort William / Glasgow


HITRANS board member Councillor Ken Gowans, from Inverness, said: “This excellent partnership with the bus operators is good news for local people wishing to take the bus and then cycle for their onward journey as well as visitors travelling to and from the Highlands and Islands for cycle touring holidays. It also enables car-free travel to parts of our region with no train service.”



Simone Smith, Operations Director of Scottish Citylink, said; “We are delighted to be able to respond to the demand of our customers by offering a booking service and extending the number of routes on offer.”


Alex Flanagan, Stagecoach Operations Manager for Aviemore, Inverness and Tain, added: “We are delighted to be able to accommodate cycles more easily on some of our key routes.” 










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