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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004

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Rapsons Buses HITRANS    


HITRANS, the strategic transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, is investing more than £800,000 on modern low-floor buses, which are wheelchair accessible and provide the general public with much easier access.  HITRANS is working in partnership with bus companies to contribute towards the cost of the new buses, using funds awarded by The Scottish Executive for public transport improvements. Since April 2003, HITRANS has received £2.7 million from the Executive to improve public transport in its area.

Some Of the New Buses

Chairman Councillor Charlie King, Mallaig, said: “Public transport plays a crucial role in the life of many rural communities in the Highlands and Islands so we are eager to provide not only a more integrated system but one that is accessible to as many people as possible. We are reinforcing this commitment through our partnership with bus companies from as far afield as Shetland in the north to Argyll and Bute in the south.”

Already in operation are eight buses, namely:-

  • A new low floor wheelchair accessible VDL operated by Rapson’s Coaches on the service between Inverness and Inverness Airport.

  • A new low floor wheelchair accessible Optare Solo operated by Rapsons between Thurso and Scrabster, connecting with the Orkney ferry.

  • A new low floor wheelchair accessible Dennis Dart operated by Deveron Coaches on the Buckie to Keith service.

  • A new low floor wheelchair accessible Optare Solo operated by The Moray Council on the Speyside Community Bus Service in Aberlour and the surrounding rural area.

  • 4 new low floor wheelchair accessible Optare Solos operated by Stagecoach Bluebird on the service between Forres, Elgin and Dufftown/Aberlour.

HITRANS has also agreed to contribute towards the costs of low floor buses operating between Inverness – Durness; at Uig Pier, Skye;  three buses to operate in Argyll and Bute and a service between Lerwick and the northern islands on Shetland.