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Council trials fully funded late night bus services for Friday and Saturday evenings

Date: 28 June 2022

Time: 13:00

New Stagecoach bus arriving in Orkney

New late night bus services leaving Kirkwall and serving East Mainland, West Mainland and Kirkwall & Orphir are being trialled by the Council until March 2023.

The trial starts this Friday night, 1 July 2022, and is being run at no extra cost to the Council with funding from the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places scheme, with buses operated by Stagecoach.

It’s hoped the evening services will be attractive to people who are having a night at the cinema, a meal out in town, or visiting friends and family.

The timings have been designed to fit in with Pickaquoy Centre closing times, and have taken on board past feedback from the public.

The services are in addition to late night buses already available on the X1 and X10 timetable.

A timetable is available on the Council website (PDF format)

The East Mainland evening bus will serve parts of Toab and Holm (Moss Road) - between St Andrews Primary and Wilderness Junction - for the first time.

Laura Cromarty is Transportation Manager for Orkney Islands Council: “Being able to enjoy a night out and then get home safely without needing to drive is something many people have asked for in the past.

“So we’re pleased to have secured some funding through Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding to give these new late night services a trial in the county.

“We hope it will not only help people plan and enjoy more evenings out, it’s also a greener way to travel, it saves having to arrange lifts, and is free for Under 22’s, 60 plus and disabled customers in possession of a valid National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot Card.

“We also hope it will make it easier with current fuel prices for people to be able to leave their car at home.”

James Linklater, Managing Director at The Pickaquoy Centre, said: “We are delighted with this new bus offering from OIC’s Transport team. and Stagecoach Orkney. These Friday and Saturday night services directly from the centre will be of huge benefit to our customers.”

Chair of Development and Infrastructure Committee, David Dawson, said: “I’d encourage people to look at the timetable for these new services, make use of them throughout this trial, and importantly to give our Transport team their feedback.

“These services are being trialled for a limited amount of time, and we do need good levels of demand and usage from the public to give us the best possible chance of continuing these services after March 2023.”

The Council’s Transport team will be reviewing the area and direction of the new routes, along with demand, early in 2023.

Comments from the public throughout the trial are welcome to

Leaflets detailing the new services are available from the Kirkwall Travel Centre, and OIC libraries and customer services in School Place Kirkwall and Warehouse Buildings, Stromness.

The timetable is also available at or call Stagecoach for more information on 01856 870 555.

In more detail:

The East Mainland Evening Service 3E departs the Pickaquoy Centre at 10pm on Fridays and 8.00 pm on Saturdays (to coincide with cinema times), with another departure at 10.03 pm on Saturday nights, and goes via the Kirkwall Travel Centre, New Scapa Road, Kirkwall Airport, Shelia Fleet road end, Tankerness Hall, Dingieshowe, Lighthouse Corner (Deerness), St Andrews School, Wilderness Junction (Holm) before returning to the Kirkwall Travel Centre via New Scapa Road. Journey time is just over 1 hour.

The West Mainland Evening Service 7E departs the Kirkwall Travel Centre at 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights, with an earlier departure of 8pm on Saturdays, and goes via the Pickaquoy Centre (Fridays only as as Picky closes early on Saturday), Finstown, Evie Hillside, Newton Road end, Birsay Palace, Twatt, Dounby and Harray before travelling back through Finstown to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. Journey time is 1hr 15 mins.

The Town and Orphir Evening service 9E leaves the Kirkwall Travel Centre at 10:05 pm on Friday and 8.05 pm Saturday night, and goes via the Pickaquoy Centre Hatston Park, Sunnybank Road, Soulisquoy Place, Scapa Road end, Orphir village, and Clestrain Junction via Scorradale, back through Orphir Village to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. Journey time is just under an hour.

View the timetable for this trial of evening bus services on the Council website (PDF format)

The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) initiative was developed to encourage more people to reduce their car use in favour of more sustainable alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport. To find out more visit the Transport Scotland website.


  • Summary:

    New late night bus services leaving Kirkwall and serving East Mainland, West Mainland and Kirkwall & Orphir are being trialled by the Council until March 2023.

  • Category:
    • Transport
    • Climate Aware

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS