East Inverness Bus Investment Fund Project
The project, which will be delivered in partnership by HITRANS, The Highland Council and Stagecoach North Highland, was one of thirteen bus projects in Scotland to receive grants under the first round of Transport Scotland’s Bus Investment Fund (BIF).
The BIF was set up to encourage partnership working to help improve bus services, standards and infrastructure for communities across Scotland.
The project will see major investment into local bus services including: 15 new efficient vehicles operating on the busiest bus routes in the city; improved bus timetable and service information at stops and in real time at the busiest locations; new bus shelters; and a series of bus priority measures which will form the basis of a Quality Partnership between the partners over the next 3 years.
The launch took place at the site of the new Inverness Campus which is one of the key destinations which will benefit from the improved bus services and infrastructure. The improvements will also improve public transport links to the city centre, Raigmore Hospital and the Inverness Retail Park.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The East Inverness Bus Investment Fund Project is a good example of the sort of partnership working which I would like to encourage across Scotland.
“I am looking forward to seeing this project develop over the next three years and improve the standards of local transport in the area.
“I was impressed by the level of interest in the 2013 Bus Investment Fund and I am looking forward to seeing the launch of the next round later this year.”
Ranald Robertson, Partnership Director of HITRANS, added: “HITRANS are delighted that the £2.7million application for Inverness has been successful. The project will see major investment into local bus services that will help form a Quality Partnership between HITRANS, Highland Council and Stagecoach. This will lead to a visible improvement in the level of public transport on offer in the city over the upcoming months.”
Councillor Graham Phillips, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee welcomed the new project, saying: “This project will provide a very welcome enhancement to the quality of bus services in a growing part of the city. By providing new vehicles and bus priority measures, I am confident that it will encourage people to use buses instead of their cars and contribute to reducing congestion. It is particularly important that it will serve the new Inverness Campus from its opening.”
Steve Walker Managing Director Stagecoach North Scotland said: "Stagecoach North Scotland welcomes the commitment and investment to improve the infrastructure and the public transport users’ experiences of bus travel into the Highland capital. The measures proposed by Highland Council and HITRANS in this bid, will compliment current investment in vehicles and the high-frequency services in operation on these corridors. This partnership will help deliver the modal shift towards greater use of public transport and will lead to improved benefits for the air quality around the city."
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE Project Director for the Inverness Campus, said: “HIE is developing Inverness Campus as a world-class location, home to business, academic and community activity. Good transport links are a vital part of ensuring that the Campus is easily accessible for the researchers, business people, students and members of the public who will want easy access to all its facilities.”