Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Royal Mail Postbus

Old Slipway, originally uploaded by North Light.

For many years the Royal Mail has operated an excellent Postbus service in the North Highlands, the services from Thurso going west all ceased in April this year, Royal Mail saying they were unable to reach an agreement with the Highland Council on the subsidy they pay, if the press is correct, the Post Office had asked a threefold increase in subsidy and appear to not want to negotiate. This service as well as providing lifeline transport to remote areas was also well used by Tourists, you could leave Thurso on the morning bus, have half a day in Tongue, and then return of the afternoon bus.
The Highland Council have been very quick to find a replacement service, provided by Stagecoach, but from the Tourist Trades point of view this service has one major drawback, if you want to go to Tongue for a few hours, and then return to Thurso, during the week you can no longer do this, you now get exactly 23 minutes in Tongue before you have to return!
I can understand the problems, the costs of running a full bus to Tongue have to be higher than the small minibus the Royal Mail was using, and the Royal Mail's service was dual purpose in that it was collecting mail from Post Offices as well.

In my view another step backwards for the Tourist.

1 comment:

Keith Tilley said...

I'd heard about this, but I didn't know that the service had already finished. The Royal Mail used to be a pillar of the local community (and still is to some extent). It's a shame that market forces are taking over. Soon it will be just another package courier.