Countryside-in-crisis-banne

BBC misses the last bus

The BBC on their Breakfast news programme this morning are reporting the sad demise of 5 out of 7 Royal Mail post bus routes in the Highlands. They are late in featuring this story as the local media in the Highlands were highlighting this over a month ago.

Yet the BBC are running the story with the strapline, “Could this be the last post bus for the Highlands?” That suggests there is hope of a reprieve, but the service ceases as of today. There is no hope of these vital rural services being saved, Royal Mail even refused to enter discussions with Highland Council to subsidise the service. Royal Mail bureaucrats in London made the decision, sneaked out the announcement, left little time for consultation and have gone ahead with their plans. And they are meant to be providing a public service. Once the post bus has been axed from these remote communities it’s a simple step to the removal of door-to-door delivery as well.¬†

 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Countryside-in-crisis-banne

Highland Post Buses Axed

Another lifeline service for rural communities in the Highlands will disappear in April as Royal Mail axes five post bus routes serving some of the remotest areas in the country. Areas such as Applecross, Torridon and Tongue will be hardest hit by the cost-cutting exercise where no real alternative public transport links exist.

Torridon village seen from Loch Torridon shore...

Although only just over 3000 journeys were made along these routes last year, this would suggest that they were well used by the small, scattered communities. Yet Royal Mail has decided to save just £12,871 a year by cutting the five routes, even though they seem to have made no effort to seek subsidy from the Highland

Council.

Royal Mail will still need to drive along these routes in normal post vans so why the need to cut such an important service that will save so little. If they need to make savings then they should perhaps look at the remuneration of their superannuated  Chief Executive, Adam Crozier.

There must be enormous potential for services like these amongst the walking fraternity. For example, the Achnasheen to Diabeg service runs through the heart of Torridon and could easily provide drop-off points for walkers wanting to undertake walks on many of the mountains in that area. Yet, there is no publicity of the service locally or within the walking community. You have to search hard on the Royal Mail website to find any mention of post buses. Just a little bit of marketing could mean additional use, allowing the service to continue for the benefit of both walkers and local communities.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]