Bus station sale ‘progressing well’
Cope is poised to take over the running of the freight service which has proved popular at the Viking Bus Station.
The social enterprise company plans to move the service, which has been used by businesses and communities in the outer isles, to a portable cabin at its own premises.
Meanwhile, the sale of the bus station from the council to an undisclosed buyer was said today to have been “progressing well”.
It is hoped the deal could be completed at the beginning of the next financial year – now less than a month away.
Councillors were informed of the development at this morning’s environment and transport meeting.
Infrastructure director Maggie Sandison delivered the news during a presentation of the department’s performance overview in the nine months up to December last year.
She said a meeting had been held with local hauliers to inform them of the arrangement with Cope.
Smaller items of freight will continue to be delivered on the buses.
“Cope are delighted to be involved,” she told members.
“The sale is still progressing, and that has all still to be finalised at the beginning of the next financial year.”
She added that the transfer and changes should be “seamless”, and access would be better for hauliers.
The bus station’s future was cast into doubt over a year ago when councillors were recommended to make £80,000 in annual savings by closing the much-used waiting room and freight centre.
But members – who had been presented with a hastily-organised petition containing 500 signatures – opted instead to seek a buyer from outside the SIC.
It is believed a deal may be in the offing with the owners of the Great Wall restaurant, which is located above the station buildings. The council will not comment on commercial matters.