Am Bratach No. 249
Tongue transport group has
ambitious plans to expand services
We are extremely grateful for the funding in place for the new minibus, said chairwoman, Ngaire Mingham. However to run the Section 22 service we also require an additional second-hand vehicle to implement the additional routes as well as for back up. Our current minibus is too small and doesnt meet the required criteria; therefore we are currently involved with local fundraising to purchase this extra vehicle.
Plans to extend the core services provided by the group are progressing with three proposed routes in the pipeline. The new routes, which aim to be operational in September, will be a fixed return route from Tongue-Durness every Tuesday, with flexible routes operating on a Dial-a-Ride basis for the other two: Strathnaver to Tongue via Skerray, Scullomie and Braetongue every Thursday, and Tongue to Melness every Friday.
Once these routes become registered under a Section 22 Transport Permit members of the community will be allowed to use their concessionary bus passes on registered routes, both fixed and flexible. It should be noted that those who are eligible for free transport must present the driver with a valid bus pass, otherwise they will be charged for their journey. Those who require carer support on journeys can upgrade their current bus pass for a companion card which will allow their carer to travel free. Application forms can be obtained from local service points.
The above three routes currently
provide transport provision for people attending the Kyle Centre
in Tongue, now known as North Coast Connection (NCC) and once
registered under a Section 22 permit these routes will be open
to the wider community with seat priority given to those attending,
and who have booked, through NCC.
T4T aim to provide a transport service to the leisure centre, which includes a swimming pool, at Bettyhill as part of their future development plans.
Residents of Tongue, Melness
and Skerray can still rely on T4Ts original core services
offering transport to access local services and amenities with
the use of the 5-seater disabled access car as well as volunteer
drivers using their own vehicles, which will continue to operate
alongside the impending proposed and planned registered routes.
Irene Joyce of Dalnafree, West Strathan, Melness, said: T4T personnel have always been very helpful and considerate. May Munro, Braetongue, commented: Its good to have this service as I no longer have a car. It enables me to get to the chiropodist and doctor.
Further details of registered routes, fares and timetables will be available prior to the official T4T launch of these new services in September.
T4T evolved in January 2009 through the 040, Older People for Older People Project, an EU Northern Periphery Programme which enabled the parish of Tongue, Melness and Skerray to develop an initiative, which had been identified as a priority by the community, lack of local transport, primarily aimed at older people, as well as those who had no access to their own transport.
Anyone requiring core services
should call Laura Findlay on 01847 601238 between 10am-12 noon,
Monday to Friday, using the answer machine outwith hours. Private
hire of T4Ts minibus is also available when not in use
and anyone interested in hiring the bus for social functions
should contact Ken Palmer on 01847 611768 for more information.