The Calgary to Salen bus is a completely new bus service on the Isle of Mull, and it comes right past the Treshnish road end – making it much easier to get to Treshnish by public transport. The time table has been carefully scheduled to fit in with the existing service buses to and from the ferries. It doesnt run every day but crucially for anyone wanting to come to Treshnish, it does run on both our changeover days – Friday, Saturday as well as Sunday and Tuesday.
The first day of the new scheduled (Dial a Ride) Calgary to Salen bus service started today. The first bus from Calgary reached our ‘door’ (our road end) just after 8.30am. The ‘Bus Passenger of Honour’ was our local Councillor, Mary-Jean Devon, who has been a huge support to the Ulva Ferry school and area over the years, especially in relation to school closures and community issues. It was really nice to be on the bus with her, and think back to where it all began, when the school was under threat of closure and we started up the community association to strengthen the case for saving the school.
This bus service has been created in response to a Community Consultation that took place in the Ulva Ferry Area, under the Growth At The Edge project, which funded the work involved in creating a Community Development Plan for the area. Lack of affordable local housing and lack of any form of public transport were two of the key issues for the community. The bus project is the fruit of a lot of hard graft by the Local Development Officers, Mull and Iona Community Trust (who manage the project) and their steering groups and community. On the days that the scheduled service doesn’t run, the bus is used for the benefit of the community.
I went all the way to Salen, sitting up front and enjoying the view. I had coffee with my brother and did a bit of shopping in the Salen shop. On the way home we saw lots of bird watchers looking at a White Tailed eagle soaring above the road. We picked up 2 more passengers on the way back who wanted to go along for the ride, rather as I did.
It is so exciting for us running a green tourism business, that is now so much easier for anyone who wants to come and stay in this fairly remote area of the island, to get here using public transport and not having to depend on taxis and lifts. Whats more this community minibus is a ‘green’ vehicle too.
For information on the timings of the buses, and how to book your seats, please look at the Ulva Ferry Community Bus website.