Caithness Transport Forum update, 16th August 2013
Published 16 Aug 2013Road
We were delighted to hear that plans to improve the Berriedale Braes have taken a step forward with a contract to carry out ground investigations being put out to tender. This is an issue on which the Transport Forum, along with various partner organisations, has been campaigning for a number of years and it is heartening to see progress at last. Trudy Morris, Chair of the Forum, has also attended a second teleconference to discuss the various options for the upgrade and will be updating the Forum at its next meeting.
We have today had a productive meeting with Neil Young from the Highland Council, where issues surrounding provision of timetables and bus shelters in Caithness were discussed. A number of actions have been put in process and we hope for some positive outcomes in the near future.
Finally, we understand that details have now been finalised between Stagecoach and Highland Council regarding the Wick to Staxigoe bus service and that it should be in place for the start of the school term next week. This is a fantastic outcome and a great example of public and private organisations working together to solve a problem.
Scrabster Harbour this week secured a maintenance contract for the Scotrenewables SR250 tidal power turbine. This is great news not just for the harbour but for Caithness as a whole, demonstrating to the renewables industry that we have the facilities, services and skills to support ongoing developments in this sector.
We also note that NorSea Group (UK) Ltd, who have recently signed an agreement with Scrabster to develop an oil and gas supply and services base at the port, have appointed a new General Manager, whose initial focus will be to move these proposals forward.
There has been some prominent focus in the local press this week on the cost of flights between Wick and Aberdeen. This is an ongoing issue and one which we have been working on with our partners in the Wick John O'Groats Airport Consultative Committee (WJACC). We will be raising this again at the next WJACC meeting, which will be held on Wednesday 25th September.