Orkney Islands Council recently awarded contracts for public bus and school transport services covering the next eight years, with new buses being provided by the main contractor, Stagecoach.
The new contracts take effect from August 16 and there is an option to extend them by up to a further two years. In their first full year of operation, the cost will be £5,379,899, compared with an existing budget available of £3,050,760, a significant increase in investment by the council to improve services and which councillors approved in March.
As in previous years, the Mainland bus services have been awarded to Stagecoach, and the award of school transport contracts there is split between Stagecoach and several smaller operators including J&V Coaches, Stromness. Bus services on Westray and Sanday will continue to be operated by existing contractors M&J Harcus and Sanday Enterprises respectively, while the Island of Hoy Development Trust has been awarded the contract to operate a one day per week service there. School service contracts on Eday, Stronsay and East Holm will be retendered as no bids were received.