Protests have poured into the welovestornoway.com Facebook page after we publicised the fact that the Bus Station in Stornoway faces closure in CnES cutbacks.
We understand that consultation forms about the proposed cuts were not made available in the bus station itself prior to the recent Council meetings so passengers did not have their attention drawn to the plans.
Comments on our Facebook Page include: "What a disgrace, the only town in the country without a bus station, this council need to get a grip!! Is it any wonder people are leaving the island!". That was from Willie Innes.
"This place is invaluable! Not only a warm shelter while waiting for the bus, but also the left luggage facility excellent when loading up on shopping so you never had to be laden when you wanted to go down the street. How can any town not have a bus station? Hope youse fight and win to keep it." That was from Jenny Stone.
Cailean Macaulay wrote: "We are meant to be encouraging use of public transport generally, and especially as a lifeline for rural communities. Taking away the bus station must be one of the dumbest proposals anyone could make - the elderly, parents with small children, tourists, people with shopping ... what are they meant to do? Next the toilets will be closed and a sign put up to go find a peat stack to crouch behind!" (Another proposal in the cuts is to close all the public toilets.)
Chrissie Cumming wrote: "This is a disgrace. I know of people from Harris that use this facility and now will be left outside in all weather. Not everyone has the use of their own transport. Please rethink what this means to our elderly travellers and not-so-old who deserve better. It a disgrace what is happening to our islands. We are going backwards very rapidly!"
Shelagh Buckley wrote: "Disgraceful. This is a great facility, we use it when visiting from Uist, it's always clean, tidy and nice and warm in winter and the lady who gives advice about timetables etc. is so helpful. There's always a good number of people in there of all ages so it's well used. Are elderly people in Stornoway now expected to wait out in the cold for their bus? What a pathetic council if this goes ahead."
However, Donald S Murray, the nationally-regarded poet and writer from South Dell who formerly taught English at The Nicolson Institute and now lives in Shetland, said: "I've used Stornoway bus station often myself - and I'm well aware that it sheltered people from the rain, including me. But it's simply not true to say that Stornoway is the only town that has had its bus shelter closed recently. It has happened in other towns too…bus stations are being closed in loads of towns!"