scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Pedal for Less at Inverness

ScotRail has introduced a 'Ticket to Ride' for visitors to get out and about in the Inverness area.

The train operator has teamed up with Inverness cycle hire business Ticket to Ride (07902 242301) to offer its rail customers discounted rates for hiring bicycles.

Staff from Ticket to Ride will even bring pre-hired bikes to greet customers from their trains at Inverness, Nairn and Forres stations at no extra charge so they can start exploring straight away. Customers arriving at other selected stations - including Dingwall, Elgin and Aviemore - can also have their bikes brought to the station, with reduced delivery rates applying for ScotRail customers.

The offer builds on similar partnerships with other cycle hire companies - most recently with Basecamp Bikes in Blair Atholl (01796 481 256).

Desmond Bradley, Transport Integration Manager at ScotRail, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with yet another cycle hire company for the benefit of our customers. We are especially pleased that Ticket to Ride will deliver bikes to customers at certain stations for no additional charge." He added: "Offering discounted cycle hire to rail customers really reinforces the message that you don't need a car to enjoy the magnificent Highlands scenery."

Lindsay MacKinnon of Ticket to Ride, said: "We're really pleased to be collaborating with ScotRail to help cyclists discover the Highlands. Our unique service makes routes like the Great Glen Way and Speyside Way much easier. Not only can we deliver at bikes at the start, we can collect them at the other end with reduced rates for rail customers."

A 10% discount is available on full-day hire with a valid rail ticket, and Freedom of Scotland Travelpass holders are entitled to 15% off. When booking please give at least four hours' notice. To get preferential rates, customers should quote 'ScotRail Offer' when making their booking. Discounted rates are subject to availability.

The Freedom of Scotland Travelpass is a Flexible Rover Ticket that covers travel on trains, ferries and a selection of coach services throughout Scotland - see ScotRail website for full details.

Editor's note:
I thought I would share with you FoFNL's involvement with encouraging the hiring of cycles to promote greater use of the Line.
17th January 1998: ScotRail abandoned the £3 charge for conveying cycles and will develop cycle hire facilities. Jim Fry, committee member was asked to investigate the possibility of a cycle hire facility at Thurso station.
4th April 1998: cycle hire existed in Thurso but was not possible at the station. Committee member John Moore (JM) will investigate possibilities elsewhere.
6th June 1998: JM tabled a report and will pursue possible outlets in Invergordon and Lairg.
21 November 1998: facilities do exist at Lairg caravan park.
20 February 1999: JM confirmed outlets in Invergordon and Lairg.
15 May 1999: it was agreed that JM had taken this as far as possible and FoFNL's involvement will end.