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Bus changes coming from 1 April

Date: 25 March 2024

Bus Update for web

New timetables and Stand changes from 1 April - and keep an eye out for new Orkney Public Bus Guide!

Orkney’s bus timetables will see some changes from Monday 1 April, including a number of improvements to services.

The enhancements will operate from April to October, providing increased frequency on the X1 and 8S networks and an additional evening bus for Kirkwall and Orphir on Saturdays. Services have been enhanced on a commercial basis by operator Stagecoach following increases in passenger numbers, particularly over the summer months.

A new, updated Orkney Public Bus Guide reflecting timetable changes will be available from the Stromness and Kirkwall Travel Centres, Visit Scotland, Kirkwall Library and Archive, Orkney Ferries office, Kirkwall Airport and the Council Offices. Please be aware that the timetable information on shelters and poles across the Mainland will be replaced in coming days. Timetable information is also available on the council website by visiting

There have also been a few changes at the Kirkwall Travel Centre pick up / drop off stand locations for several routes (see below). This will help to avoid clash of timings and reduce congestion at areas for folk to wait for their bus. Signage will be up in bus shelters at the Kirkwall Travel Centre advising passengers of changes to bus stands.

Laura Cromarty is Transportation Service Manager for Orkney Islands Council:

“We’d like to thank everyone who provides feedback on our bus services, helping bring about improvements such as these so that services are the best they can be for our community.

“Thanks also go to the Stagecoach team for providing the additional services highlighted here on a commercial basis, in response to community feedback.”

For up to the minute information, download the Stagecoach Bus App to track your bus.

Here are some of the changes and improvements to be aware of – check the new timetables for full details.

Service X1 (Stromness – Kirkwall – St Margarets Hope):

• There are some small adjustments to the timings – check the new timetable carefully.

• The service between Kirkwall and Stromness now has more half hourly departures throughout the day.

• An additional hourly service taking in historic sites will operate from Stromness to Skara Brae via the Brodgar Road (returning to Stromness).

• Improved Sunday connections.

• Buses will no longer drop off at the Brodgar Road end for safety reasons.

Service 2 (Houton):

• Note a change to Stand No 4 at Kirkwall Travel Centre for this service.

• The Saturday bus timetable has been amended to provide improved connectivity to the Houton ferry.

Service 5 (Stromness - Houton):

• Last year this commercial service between Houton and Stromness was rolled into the X1 timetable – it has now reverted to a separate ‘No. 5’ timetable again. Timings are unchanged.

Service 8S (Skara Brae / Quoyloo):

• The number of days per week this service runs over the summer period is increasing from three to six. The service will operate Monday to Saturday from 1 April to 26 October inclusive. (Outwith this period, the service will revert to three days, Monday, Thursday and Saturday).

• This service will change to operate from Stand 3 at Kirkwall Travel Centre.

• Travelling throughout the west mainland, this service is great for visitors and locals, running: Kirkwall – Brodgar – Stenness – Dounby – Twatt – Quoyloo – Skara Brae – Stromness (and return)

Service 7 (Birsay / Dounby):

• The route has been amended to go direct to the Balfour Hospital and then on to the Kirkwall Travel Centre. The route will no longer travel via Pickaquoy Road, Sunnybank Road or Hatston Brae. The new route will operate: Old Finstown Road, Glaitness Road, Foreland Road, New Scapa Road (Balfour Hospital), Kirkwall Travel Centre. The best point to board/disembark for Pickaquoy Centre and/or supermarkets is at Great Western Road (opposite Lidl).

Service 9E (Kirkwall and Orphir Evening):

• A new, additional evening bus will run on Saturdays, leaving Kirkwall Travel Centre at 21:10 via Orphir returning to Kirkwall at 22:01. This is in addition to the evening service on Friday nights.

Changes to bus stands at Kirkwall Travel Centre, from 1 April:

  • Service 2 (Houton Ferry) – will depart from Stand 4
  • Service 3 (Deerness and Tankerness ) – will depart from Stand 2
  • Service 3E (East Mainland Evening Bus : Friday & Saturday) – will depart from Stand 2
  • Service 6 (Tingwall Ferry and Evie ) – will depart from Stand 3
  • Service 8S (Quoyloo and Skara Brae) – will depart from Stand 3
  • Service 9E (Town and Orphir Evening Bus : (Friday & Saturday) – will depart from Stand 3

  • Summary:

    Orkney's public bus timetables change on 1 April, with some new improved services and timing changes, and amended Stands at the Kirkwall Travel Centre for passengers to note.

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