Bid launched for £55m Highland transport investment

A bid to fund the design and delivery of more than £55 million of transport infrastructure in the Highland region was submitted to Transport Scotland today.

Bid launched for £55m Highland transport investment

A partnership including the Highland Council, bus operators and other stakeholders has put together a package of measures to prioritise buses in congested parts of the network. Alongside walking, wheeling and cycling, public transport is a much more efficient use of road space and more environmentally friendly way of moving around.

By making active travel and public transport safer, more convenient and more reliable, it is hoped the region can deliver on its ambitions to become zero carbon and make a major step forward in tackling the climate and ecological emergency.

The bid includes proposals to create park and ride sites around Inverness and Fort William, supported by priority bus lanes and junctions, as well as mini park and ride sites across the strategic road network. Such interventions, coupled with improvements in Dingwall and specific measures associated with tourists in Skye, Invergordon and Fort William, set the ambition for the region to dramatically tackle its carbon footprint by reducing dependence on private car and ensuring people have fair access to healthy transport choices.

Cllr Trish Robertson, who chairs the Highland Council’s economy, development and infrastructure committee, said: “The Bus Partnership Fund offers the Highlands the chance of significant investment towards a modern and multi-modal transport network. This funding would support our recovery from Covid-19 both through construction jobs and helping buses to become more efficient and recover from this sustained period of reduced patronage.

“If this bid is successful, it will give us a fantastic chance to work with partners to deliver major benefits for the region. We look forward to working closely with Transport Scotland on the various proposals for the trunk road network, which are assets within their control but make up a significant part of the transport network in our villages, towns and the city of Inverness.”

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