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12/30/2013 - Minister announces significant funding for Inverness bus project

Transport Minister Keith Brown today (30 December 2013) announced £4.2 m worth of funding to be allocated to bus projects across Scotland over the next three years.

Thirteen bus projects will 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 successful applicants include:

• 100% Bus Stop Information in Fife (Fife)
• Kingswell Park and Choose (Aberdeen)
• Ring of Breadalbane Explorer (Perth & Kinross and Stirling)
• A81 Quality Bus Corridor (East Dumbartonshire)
• Rural Transport Solutions (Dumfries & Galloway/East Ayrshire)
• A947 Mini-Interchange Hubs (Aberdeenshire)
• Muchart and West Kinross-shire Demand Responsive Transport (Clackmannanshire/Perth & Kinross)
• East Inverness Bus Improvement Corridor (Inverness)
• Service 4 – Passenger Growth through Better Bus Priority (Edinburgh)
• Service 24 – Bus Priority, Infrastructure & Frequency (Edinburgh)
• SEStran Regional Real Time Passenger Information (various areas)
• North Lanarkshire Connector Bus Service (North Lanarkshire)
• Deeside Community Transport (Aberdeenshire)

Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“I would like to congratulate all thirteen applicants who have secured substantial funding from this year’s Bus Investment Fund. The projects are spread across the country from Dumfries & Galloway to Inverness.

“This fund provides local authorities, RTPs and bus operators with the opportunity to apply for grants which will help to increase the standard of bus services and patronage.”

The East Inverness Bus Improvement Corridor project is a project led by HITRANS in partnership with The Highland Council and Stagecoach. The project will deliver improvements to bus networks in Inverness totalling £2.7Million with a contribution of £700,000 secured through the Bus Investment Fund. The investment will be focussed on the rapidly growing area of east Inverness and will see enhanced bus services to Raigmore Hospital and the new University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Inverness campus.

Funding has been allocated by the partners to a mix of new buses, bus stop facilities and bus priority measures. The project will deliver the following enhancements:

• 15 new state of the art low floor buses.
• 180+ new branded bus stop poles and information displays stops – incorporating Real-time displays at some key stops and NFC codes elsewhere so passengers can access real-time info on their smartphones
• 15+ bus shelters including improved facilities at some of the busiest stops
• Investment in Real-time technology and traffic signals at key junctions to enable delivery of intelligent bus priority on through key junctions in the city centre and in East Inverness.
• Introduction of free to use wifi at key interchanges an don bus.
• Innovative marketing
• Monitoring of the investment
• The commitment of the partners to develop a statutory Quality Bus Partnership linked to the enhancement.

Ranald Robertson, Partnership Director of HITRANS, said

“HITRANS are delighted to hear that the application to the Scottish Governments' Bus Investment Fund for the £2.7million project in Inverness has been successful.

“The project which will be delivered in partnership with The Highland Council and Stagecoach will see major investment into local bus services including, 15 new efficient vehicles operating on the busiest bus routes in the city, improved at stop and real-time bus information, 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.”

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