How do visitors manage travelling around Scotland?! Despite the very friendly and efficient Traveline Scotland service, where real people with local accents answer your call, the job of going from place to place is really complicated. That’s for me as an indigenous Scot! So what it is like for a visitor speaking English as their second or third language and using a mobile phone?
Frustrating is the first word that comes to mind. Having tried to organise a group of people from Glasgow to Inverkeithing Highland Games recently, I spent, in total, more than two hours on the phone trying to get answers to simple questions: What time do we leave? What time do we arrive? What time can we travel back? What does it cost?
I’m finding the same complication arising for a journey to Mugdock Country Park. this is the place where the West Highland Way starts. But oddly enough, no bus stops anywhere on the perimeter of the Park. The best option is to go to Milngavie by train from Glasgow then register for a local bus service which will slot you in with other bookings, like a taxi company.
At every point, people are helpful and polite. But at every point they come to the end of the information they are able to provide and offer a phone number for the next link in the chain of information. It is costly in phone calls and in time. And I fear to think what confusion this could cause someone speaking hesitate English.
Traveline Scotland is a good service – don’t get me wrong. I use it a lot and it works well. But when the friendly folk at the end of the line need to give more than simple information – bus number X will be at bus stop A at such a time and will arrive at bus stop B at that time – their system can’t cope.
Surely we can offer a more comprehensive, integrated travel information service to make life easier for visitor and local alike?
If you have recent experience of travel information frustration and want to tell air that on this website, please email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org