Updated 14th March 2022
We are very much looking forward to our first FULL season of trading since 2019! Bike hire will resume from Friday 25th March and transport services will be back on 3rd April 2022. There might not be many legal rules in place this year but we will continue to work within industry guidelines for COVID safety which slows us down a bit and can reduce our capacity. Please help us to help you by:
- booking early
- using online booking or email if you can
- add info@TicketToRideHighlands.co.uk to your contacts
- check spam/junk folder for our reply
- phone only if you have to
- being patient, we will be operating with a smaller team but will schedule customers so we can deal with everyone to the usual high standard, safely
It’s hard to answer the phone at times but colleagues working remotely can usually deal with emails quite quickly.
We can only deliver our service if we are all fit and well. Please help us stay at work by maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene and a decent amount of physical distancing as appropriate.
Published 4th March 2021
It is still not possible to predict with certainty when it will be safe to lift travel restrictions and re-open hotels and restaurants. A good source of information and travel advice for Scotland in the COVID era is of Course VisitScotland.
We’re also now signed up to the standards set out by the World Travel and Tourism Council under their Safe Travels scheme.
Published 9th February 2021
It is not clear when we will be able to start trading again or when customers will be allowed to travel to Inverness. In the meantime we will be preparing as much as we can so that we can continue to provide our usual high standard of service as well as taking the necessary and reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of infection. Our collective COVID learning curve was steep in 2020 and conscientious businesses craved clear conditions they could comply with to give customers the confidence to return.
Collating all this guidance and reviewing our compliance has been helped by the Good To Go scheme developed by the national tourism organisations of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Businesses displaying this mark have confirmed their compliance with public health advice and their own risk assessments.
We continue to learn about the transmission of the virus, the level of infection in Scotland is already reducing and the vaccine programme is being delivered at a speed not many parts of the world can match. Our precautions are reviewed regularly and we look forward to a time when measures can be relaxed rather than restricted further.
Published 14th January 2021
A lot has happened since that last update in May but in many ways not much has changed and we are largely all still stuck at home. We were fortunate to be able to operate for the best part of July, August and September 2020. It all seems like a dream right now but for a few weeks the sun shone and memories were made:
We were confident that we took all practical precautions to protect ourselves and our customers from infection. It was clear that our working environment was vastly lower risk than many other businesses (e.g. hospitality). Despite observing some less-than-exemplary physical distancing and face covering the summer 2020 tourism season does not seem to have imported much Coronavirus to the Highlands and I’ve precisely zero anecdotes of tourism related infection. The Highlands has seen an increase in infection rates during this winter wave but thankfully continues to escape the soaring levels of virus seen elsewhere. Here you will get the best tips on total health and fitness.
Preparation for the 2021 season is well underway and as we get closer to returning to operations in…. April?… I’ll share more details here and in booking emails etc. Until then please stay safe, get plenty of local exercise and dream of cycling in the Scottish Highlands this summer.
Published 21st May 2020
The Scottish Government Route Map out of corona-virus lockdown has just been published. We’ve been thinking more about how to serve visitors safely after lockdown and some changes to the way we work might include:
- appointment times for collection of bikes
- restricted access to workshop areas
- reduced numbers of staff on duty
- extended working hours
- thorough cleaning regimes
- face coverings
If you have any concerns or ideas for us please don’t hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published 11th May 2020
It has been 7 weeks since “lockdown” started and despite all the announcements by politicians in Westminster and Holyrood we have not received any financial support for the business apart from a contribution towards the wage costs of my furloughed colleagues.
To date the insurance company has been similarly dishonourable in it’s approach to our claim. The policy states we have cover for business interruption resulting from:
“your inability to use the business premises due to restrictions imposed by a public authority during the period of insurance following:
a. a murder or suicide;
b. an occurrence of a notifiable human disease within one mile of the business premises;“
I think most reasonable people would conclude that the above adequately describes our current predicament but the insurers claim to have been thinking about something else when they chose those words.
We are hopeful of receiving funds soon from a bank loan which should allow us to continue with preparations to return to trade although repayments will be a burden for years to come.
In the meantime we have been working with Cycling UK to provide bike loans and maintenance services FREE of charge to key workers. It is great to be given the opportunity to use our skills and resources to contribute something positive to the community again after a long winter and then this pandemic crisis.
Published 8th April 2020
A lot has happened since the last update a month ago. Travel restrictions have come into force through much of the world and we’ve delayed the start of our bike hire and cyclist transport season. Operating a seasonal business is challenging at the best of times and this pandemic has hit Scottish Tourism right when it hurts in terms of cash flow. We always knew our customers were nice people but it has been truly heartwarming to know that our customers really empathise with our situation, won’t give up on their Scottish cycling holiday and make a real effort to reschedule rather cancel. This generosity of spirit is a great encouragement when the road ahead is unclear. It’s a health crisis above all else and we must do what it takes to protect ourselves and others and get the virus under control. Getting back to the business of helping visitors explore the Highlands by bike is the light at the end of the tunnel for us now.
Published 7th March 2020
We’ve all been concerned to hear about the recent spread of Coronavirus around the world. Most of our customers are not letting the virus affect their plans for their Scottish Cycling Holiday and indeed some have commented that they’d feel less at risk cycling through the Scottish Highlands than they might have at home!
For travelers and those of us in the tourism trade who meet folk from all over the world it is only sensible to do what we can to reduce the risk of infection. Keeping our bikes and vehicles clean was a big part of our job anyway but we have introduced anti-viral cleaning products to ensure that all contact points like handlebars, door handles, seat-belts and helmets are sanitized before every trip. We seldom have more than one group in our vehicles in a day and I know visitors have said they’d feel happier in a private transfer than using the public bus.March 7, 2020 1:07 pm
Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19
Categorised in: Updates