Council secures cash for bus links at Blar Mhor and Upper Achintore

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The Highland Council has secured £2.76m to transform public transport in the region, including money for bus-only links at Blar Mhor and Upper Achintore in Fort William.

It follows a successful bid to the Scottish Government’s Bus Partnership Fund and means the council and its partners will now develop options for ambitious bus priority schemes that aim to tackle the negative impacts of congestion on bus services.

The local authority says the work will provide the change necessary to modernise the transport network by cutting congestion and car use by offering more reliable public travel choices that help to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

This phase one funding will also allow the council to deliver projects at Raigmore Hospital and Rose Street in Inverness.

The rest of the phase one funding is allocated to prepare outline business cases, appraisals and other feasibility work to support a second funding bid that has the potential to unlock further funding of up to £21.7m.

Councillor Trish Robertson, chairperson of the council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, commented: ‘The Bus Partnership Fund centres on tackling congestion, which is most pronounced in our biggest urban areas, Inverness and Fort William.

‘We look forward to developing options and engaging on these exciting projects that will help to create a healthy, sustainable transport network that is fit for an age of climate and ecological emergency.’

A cash bid for projects in Skye was not successful and council officers are now exploring other potential opportunities for the projects proposed in this bid.

CAPTION: The Blar Mhor development on the edge of Fort William.