Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has written to bus operator Stagecoach after being contacted by constituents from Orkney who have experienced problems using the coach that links Scrabster and Inverness.

Jamie said: “The X99 service which runs from the ferry terminal at Scrabster is an important part of the public transport service linking Orkney to Inverness and further south.

“However, I have been contacted by constituents who have found using the service challenging due to the steepness of the steps. This is clearly a concern particularly for elderly or disabled passengers.

“There are also concerns about the limited space for wheelchairs on board, as well as the increased time the journey seems to be taking.

“I have written to Stagecoach to ask them to look into this matter and provide me with reassurance that they are committed to a fully accessible service.

“I know that they, and other bus operators, are working in a challenging environment, with support from local authorities squeezed as council funding from the Scottish Government is squeezed.

“However, passengers must come first otherwise we risk having a service which some of those who most need it – the elderly and disabled – find difficult to use.”