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10/25/2018 - Moray Project Attracts Funding From New Travel Fund

A Moray project, promoted by HITRANS, the Regional Transport Partnership for the Highlands and Islands, in partnership with Moray Council, has attracted significant funding from the Scottish Government’s new £2 million Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson has announced that the European-sponsored Green Passenger Transport in Rural Areas (G-PaTRA) should receive £35,000 for a targeted marketing campaign to promote the introduction of a new electric bus service on a new scheduled route in rural Morayshire.

HITRANS Public Transport Information Officer, Julie Cromarty, said: “This is really good news for this pioneering project.  The marketing campaign will raise awareness of the benefits of travelling sustainably in rural areas where there has been no previous public transport links and therefore high car usage.”

The Open Fund provides match funding grants between £5000 and £50,000 to public, third and community sector organisations that seek to transform people's everyday travel behaviour to more sustainable modes of transport.

The scheme opened in June 2018 and so far 11 winners having been awarded a total of £210k across rural, urban and island locations. The Open Fund is delivered in partnership with Paths for All, who continue to receive innovative applications which will encourage people to adopt greener and healthier travel options.

Within the European G-PaTRA Programme, HITRANS is leading on a work package which seeks to accelerate the use of zero emission vehicles and vessels.  Primary focus is on the introduction of the new scheduled bus route using an electric bus within the Moray area. The trial will be used to demonstrate and evaluate innovative low carbon transport solutions in a rural context. In addition, we will undertake two case studies which will develop a strategy for refueling cell vehicles from renewables. 

HITRANS has already been successful with a bid to the Scottish Government’s Green Bus Fund for a grant of £127,000 towards the cost of the purchase of an electric bus for the proposed new route. Moray Council has identified a preferred route and schedule for this vehicle which will involve it providing a scheduled service between parts of Speyside and the Moray coastal towns in the morning and afternoon peak and also a demand-responsive service for a further three hours in the middle of the day.



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