30/10/2014 - Transport experts make connections at Oban forum
A Transport Integration event takes place in Oban today (30th of October).
The Public Transport Integration Forum is being organised by HITRANS (the Regional Transport Partnership for the Highlands and Islands) in partnership with Caledonian MacBrayne.
Oban is one of the few places where people travel by all modes including air, ferry, bus and train making it an excellent location to consider transport integration issues.
The event is being held at the Caledonian Hotel, Oban, and will be attended by key stakeholders including Councils, Public Transport Service providers, organisations focused on accessibility and sustainable travel as well as support from Transport Scotland and travel information providers.
Topics under discussion at the forum will include ways to improve the public transport journey experience for customers and a debate on how the industry as a whole can offer a seamless and joined up service which supports the Scottish Government’s aims of greatly increasing the number of journeys undertaken using public transport for work, leisure and tourism.
HITRANS Chair, Cllr James Stockan said: “HITRANS have a vision for an integrated transport system for the Highlands and Islands. This event provides a really useful opportunity to bring together partners from the transport industry, local authorities and national bodies to identify how we can make the best use of our vital transport assets and infrastructure. We hope that the forum will be the beginning of a process that sees those stakeholders in that transport system work with a shared purpose which will be to give passengers the best experience possible as they travel to, from and within the Highlands and Islands.”
CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester added: “We are committed to continually identifying new initiatives which enhance our own services to passengers as well as seeking out opportunities to collaborate with our partners within the sector which will benefit customers, improve their experience and encourage more people to use public transport.
“Whether travellers are local residents, regular customers visiting the islands or tourists making the occasional trip, we recognise the importance which onward connections make to the sustainability and the reality of island life.”
“This forum provides an excellent opportunity for operators to exchange views, share passenger feedback and identify opportunities to improve the service on offer to all our customers in Scotland.”
Martin Dorchester continued: “Oban is a key transport hub for the west coast and, as such, was the perfect choice for both this week’s events on the future of transport and tourism in Scotland.”
In August, CalMac announced plans to introduce a new ticketing and online booking system with the award of a contract to Worldline, the European leader and a global player in the payments and transactional services industry.
Notes to Editors
The Highlands & Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) is the statutory Regional Transport Partnership for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Working with its five constituent Councils (Highland Council; Moray Council; Orkney Islands Council; Western Isles Council and Argyll and Bute Council) HITRANS is charged with developing and delivering a strategy and promoting improvements to the transport services and infrastructure network that serve the region. The organisation takes an integrated and inclusive approach by consulting with the local communities, stakeholder groups and the business community to achieve its objective of “enhancing the region’s viability by improving the interconnectivity of the whole region to strategic services and destinations.’’
Further information about HITRANS is available at www.hitrans.org.uk
CalMac, which employs more than 1,300 people, is one of the largest companies headquartered in Scotland. It has been serving the Highlands and Islands of the west coast of Scotland for more than 160 years and provides services to 28 communities. A winner of multiple awards for its services, the company carried 4.8 million passengers last year, with just under half being tourists.
Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). These names are used under licence from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The lion rampant device is used by CFL with the permission of CMAL.
Earlier this month, CalMac was named UK ferry operator of the year at the National Transport Awards 2014, the first time the prestigious awards have included a ferry category. The award was made in recognition of the services CalMac delivers to coastal and island communities across Scotland.
Further information about Caledonian MacBrayne is available at www.calmac.co.uk