What is Transport for Tongue (T4T)?
T4T is a registered Community Transport Company which provides a regular bus service along the remote north coast of Scotland. This is a Community service linking the crofting villages of Melness, Skerray and Tongue with Durness, and also with the railway station in Lairg and the city of Inverness. This service also allows for transfers to the Bus Station and Airport in Inverness.
When did T4T start?
T4T was founded in 2009 and incorporated in February 2012 as a Not for Profit company.
How is T4T funded?
T4T has received grants from the Highland Council towards running costs, and also major donations from The Big Lottery Fund and Caithness & North Sutherland Fund to enable it to purchase a new 15-seater disabled access minibus. The fares from the Registered Routes enable T4T to move towards self-sufficiency.
Where does T4T operate?
T4T has 5 registered routes under Section 22 Transport Permit.
* Last Thursday of the month (Jan-Nov) and 3rd Thursday in Dec the service is extended to Strathnaver.
** Last Saturday of every month (Jan-Nov) and 1st and 3rd Saturday of December.
How does T4T contribute to the Community?
T4T has played a key role in replacing the decreasing service of the Royal Mail Post Buses, which were so important both to local residents and visitors, in particular to those using the Youth Hostels.
T4T has enabled many less able people to be more socially active. Section 22 Transport Permit also enables those entitled to use their Concessionary Bus Passes. Through its Door to Door service which is operated under a Section 19 Transport Permit, T4T enables people in the community without their own transport to access local services and amenities, e.g. G.P. bank, shops etc.
What are T4T’s objectives?
- To provide a pre-bookable Door to Door Car Service.
- To provide links to other public transport systems.
- To provide disabled access vehicles.
- To provide group access to organised events locally and regionally.
- To promote social inclusion.
- To provide all T4T minibus drivers with full MIDAS training.
Where is T4T based?
T4T operates in a unique location on the spectacular north coast of mainland Scotland. Lying to the East is John o Groat’s and Orkney; to the West is Cape Wrath and Durness. The Highland Capital City of Inverness and neighbouring Loch Ness lie 100 miles to the south.
Who are T4T’s Customers?
In addition to our local clientele, T4T customers include visitors who are here for a wide variety of reasons. This scenic region is tourist-friendly with many excellent B&Bs and Hotels, most of which serve tasty local produce including oysters and other freshly caught seafood. Venison and game meat is available from the Castle of Mey Selections and Highland Estates. Some fine Malt Whisky Distilleries are within easy reach.
For those interested in language and music, Gaelic culture is still strong, expressing itself in ceilidhs and local Highland Games and Mods.
Historians and archaeologists are well-served with a profusion of brochs and ancient settlements, while the infamous Clearances still leave scars on the ground and in local memories.
This is Mackay Country, and many of that clan return in search of ancestral roots – as do members of the Sutherland and Gunn clans. But it is, perhaps, the stunning scenery that is the greatest attraction.
For hill-walkers, climbers, birdwatchers, and fishermen, this is paradise – with delectable mountains like Ben Loyal and Foinaven. The two most northerly Munros (Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck), dominate the region and offer a challenge to all keen outdoors folk. There are famous salmon rivers like the Naver and Borgie, innumerable hill lochs with trout and charr, and just to the east is the Flow Country where the RSPB has a reserve for moorland birds.
Geologists are well-served with some of the oldest and most complex rocks in the world, and the Moine-Thrust Geo Park straddles T4T’s Tongue-Durness route.
In an area where waterfalls abound, two are pre-eminent: the Falls of Shin near Lairg, where salmon can be seen leaping, and some little way beyond T4T’s current reach, the highest falls in Britain: Eas Coul Aulin, near Kylesku on the west coast.
Traditional beach-loving tourists are also well-served with a profusion of clean white beaches (many excellent for surfing or whale-watching), and it goes without saying that artists and photographers can find inspiration on any of T4T’s bus routes!
You may wish to look at T4T’s
pages where many photographs are available of sites of interest along or near to our routes, or to find out how to book a seat. We look forward to seeing you soon!