Stagecoach slammed for axing bus route between Inverness and Culloden Battlefield
A PUBLIC transport link to the historic Culloden Battlefield from Inverness city centre is being axed just as the summer season fully gets under way.
The move by Stagecoach has been condemned by local politicians who claim visitors will struggle to reach the iconic attraction visited by over 200,000 tourists last year.
Culloden councillor Glynis Sinclair said: “It is a public disgrace. I think it is a bit short-sighted.
“We are supposed to be promoting tourism. Here, we have one of the jewels in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland and we are not helping with subsidies to take people to it.
“It is pointless for the council to promote tourism, if we get the tourists here and they cannot see the sites.”
Inverness South SNP councillor Ken Gowans added: “The Battle of Culloden represents a pivotal moment in Scotland’s history.
“Culturally it is very important to the Highlands. The site gets thousands of visitors every year and it is quite unthinkable for there not to be public transport.
“It is really important for visitors such as backpackers, or people who have arrived in Inverness by plane or train. Taking away the link would be a retrograde step.”
Independent councillor Jim Crawford, also of Inverness South, said he hoped the bus firm would consider running a limited service in the summer months.
And National Trust for Scotland, who run the tourist attraction, and VisitScotland said they were ‘disappointed’ by the decision and its timing.
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately the route to Culloden Battlefield consistently carried very few passengers and the cost of operation has far outweiged the use of the service.
“Continuing this extension to the battlefield is simply something we can no longer sustain commercially and as such Culloden Battlefield will no longer be served by Stagecoach in Inverness.”
She said the timetable and route changes coming in on July 23 would improve reliability and meet demand in other areas.
Scottish tourism minister Fergus Ewing, the SNP’s Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber MSP, said he would investigate the issue.
Culloden Battlefield is eight miles from Inverness city centre and was the scene of the last civil war fought on British sil on April 16, 1746.
Between 1500 to 2000 Jacobites fighting for Charles Edward Stuart, who wanted to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne, were killed or wounded by the Government troops led by the Duke of Cumberland.
Government losses amounted to 50 dead and 300 wounded.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east