SMOKERS AND GULLS are being blamed for helping promote the wrong impression of Moray to visitors using Elgin bus station.
The decaying condition of the station has been highlighted by Forres councillor George Alexander, who is insisting that Elgin “needs to clean itself up a bit”.
Pointing to planning permission that was granted two years ago for a major £7million extension to the St Giles Centre, including work on the bus station, Mr Alexander has questioned why nothing has yet been done – or, indeed, if it ever will be.
“I was excited when we approved plans that included a nice new bus station for Elgin – but now I question whether it’s ever going to happen,” Councillor Alexander said, adding: “The town and the wider Moray area depends on tourism, but we have a station where smokers smoke in non-smoking areas and gulls do their business whenever they choose.
“If we are serious about attracting tourists to Elgin then we must do something about the bus station – and if Elgin wants to be an attractive town it needs to clean itself up a bit.”
The operations manager for bus station owners Stagecoach rebuffed Councillor Alexander’s comments, insisting that the station at Elgin was in reasonable condition.
Stephie Barber said: “There are a number of issues but the station in Elgin is reasonably well kept. We do everything we can to keep it tidy – but there is an element of self-policing required from those using it.
“If anyone has specific details of people flouting smoking laws then I would ask them to please let us know.”
St Giles Centre owners Uplands Investment teamed up with the Robertson Property Group in 2013 when they successfully applied for planning permission to refurbish the shopping centre and its surrounding area.