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Inverness Airport railway station…backed by HITRANS

The public are being urged to have their say on an official wish-list for improved transport in the Highlands and Islands.

HITRANS, the Regional Transport Partnership for the Highlands and Islands, are seeking the views of the public on their new draft Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) which sets out a 20-year vision for transport improvements in the Highlands, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and the Argyll & Bute local authority areas.

The statutory eight-week consultation period began yesterday (Friday 19 April) and runs until Friday 14 June during which time the public is invited to comment on the Strategy and associated policies by completing a survey on the material provided HITRANS Regional Transport Strategy (arcgis.com)

The Draft RTS has identified 11 themes with each containing a set of policies to address the transport challenges and problems in the Highlands and Islands.

The final Strategy will provide the strategic framework for the development of transport in the region. It is necessarily a comprehensive document which must be relevant to both immediate issues but also those medium to longer term challenges that will take many years to address.

Following the review of the public consultation, HITRANS will seek Ministerial approval of the finalised Regional Transport Strategy, at which point they will also publish a Delivery Plan that will set out their priorities for implementing the Strategy.

The Delivery Plan will be updated regularly, providing an opportunity to reset or realign priorities to the changing political, social, environmental and economic landscape.

The six objectives of the strategy are to:-

  • Make a just transition to a post-carbon and more environmentally sustainable transport network;
  • Transform and provide safe and accessible connections between and within our city, towns and villages to enable walking, wheeling and cycling for all;
  • Widen access to public and shared transport and improve connectivity within and from/to the region;
  • Improve the quality and integration of public and shared transport within and from/to the region;
  • Ensure reliable, resilient, affordable and sustainable connectivity for all from/to our island, peninsular and remote communities;
  • Improve the efficiency, safety and resilience of our transport networks for people and freight and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Ranald Robertson, Director of HITRANS, said: “Consulting with the public is the vitally important final stage of updating the Regional Transport Strategy, which guides our priorities for action and spending and lies at the heart of what we aim to achieve and deliver for the communities we serve.

“The strategy reflects national policy and legislation but at the same time reflects the very distinctive character of our region. We encourage as many people as possible to have their say.”

An online StoryMap sets out an overview of the RTS development process; a summary of the RTS vision and strategy objectives, themes and policies; the draft RTS and supporting documents and a survey on the material presented. 

Hard copies of the documentation can be inspected or are available from HITRANS Office, Inverness Town House, 1 High Street, Inverness  IV11JJ.