The Kirkwall Travel Centre is due to reopen on Monday (November 9) complete with a CCTV system - in a bid to stamp out the anti-social behaviour which has plagued the public facility.
Four cameras will monitor the bus waiting area – two placed within the facility and two externally – at an installed cost of around £1,750, excluding ongoing maintenance and operational costs.
The Council made the reluctant decision to close the Travel Centre at the start of September following a spate of nuisance and unacceptable behaviour by groups of youths congregating at the area over a period of several months. This included inappropriate and abusive language and disrespect to genuine users of the facility, a failure to respect the wearing of masks when required, littering and the verbal abuse of a member of staff.
OIC Transportation Manager, Laura Cromarty, said: “The building will now be monitored via the CCTV system with the hope that this addresses the matter. This will result in additional workload to the service area to monitor this effectively.
“If, however, the bus waiting area is subject to further spates of anti-social behaviour, then we will need to close the building again and further Police intervention will be required.”
Welcoming the reopening, OIC Chair of Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Graham Sinclair, added: “This entire episode has been incredibly frustrating for everyone involved – the genuine users and the folk that are working hard to ensure facilities have reopened during these challenging times of a pandemic, only to see that hard work disappear at the hands of a minority who seek to spoil things for everyone.
“The additional costs of the equipment and its forward monitoring also have to be borne by you, the taxpayer, and is taking money away from other service areas.
“I, personally, have become increasingly infuriated at the level of intolerable behaviour which is plaguing our public facilities – it is incredibly selfish and I would again appeal to the public at large to help the Local Authority and the Police to find the perpetrators so we can all go about our business safely and unhindered.”
Public bus services have resumed to the normal schedule following a temporary reduction of service as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the exception of the X1 service commercially operated by Stagecoach.
Public bus timetables are displayed in the Kirkwall Travel Centre and in the bus shelters across the county. Printed transport guides were not produced this year, however the timetables are available to view online at www.orkney.gov.uk/transport - any queries can be directed to the Transportation Service at email@example.com.