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HITRANS, the transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, is seeking the views of Western Isles residents on their draft new Regional Transport Strategy.

Covering the Western Isles, the Highlands, Moray, Orkney and Argyll and Bute, the draft plan sets out the strategic framework for transport development within and to/from other areas of Scotland over the next 20 years.

The first step in the three-stage process is establishing a Case for Change, which identifies the transport challenges encountered in such a large and rural area and establishes a set of strategic objectives to address these. An important element is to seek comments and feedback from the public and other organisations.

An online survey is now live and will remain open for comments until 5 pm on Monday, May 8.

Ranald Robertson, Director of HITRANS, said: “The Regional Transport Strategy aims to deliver connectivity across the region which enables sustainable economic growth and helps communities to actively participate in economic and social activities. The strategy will guide our priorities for action and spending over the forthcoming years. Consulting the public is a vital element of the process, and I would encourage as many people as possible to respond to the Case for Change.”

The next stage will be an options appraisal, which involves developing and appraising options that help resolve the transport and associated issues identified and deliver the strategic objectives. The outcome will inform the development of the final Regional Transport Strategy.