25/12/2012 - Christmas Newsletter
Catch the news- our December 2012 update
Aviation Policy Framework Consultation
HITRANS responded to the Department for Transport’s Aviation Policy Framework consultation. The HITRANS response aims to make a robust case for the need to secure regional access to a hub airport to allow the Highlands and Islands economy to grow. We restate our support for additional airport capacity to be developed in the South East, and urge UK Government to produce a policy that protects UK regional access to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports. The consultation response is available at:
Conon Bridge Station
Construction of the new short platform station at Conon Bridge is underway. Trains will operate from the station from February 2013 in time for the Kessock Bridge resurfacing works. Work began in 2005 with our Pre-Feasibility Study, and the project was included in our Regional Transport Strategy. We are co-funders of the capital works. We also funded the Economic Case 2006 , Section Running Time Analysis, and the 2008 Timetable Recast and the 2012 Business Case Refresh.
Skye Air Service Feasibility Study
HITRANS, HIE and Highland Council have commissioned a team of consultants lead by Arup to undertake a technical study of the options available to reinstate a Skye Air Service to the Central Belt and to undertake a demand modelling exercise for this route. The work commenced in November and the final report is expected to be completed by the end of January 2013.
Our itinerary and journey planner, now named JourneyGenie, is nearing completion. A number of stakeholder events have been held to provide developers Steer Davies Gleave with feedback. A launch programme is being drawn up with the emphasis on social media.
Food Port Project - Lifting the Spirit
HITRANS has secured ERDF funding for our INTERREG IVB bid to the Food Port project to fund a trial of movements of bulk spirit by rail. We are working through the Scotch Whisky Association with a number of distillers in Speyside to identify volume availability, location, distance from railhead, loading time, loading facilities etc. A plan will be devised for the efficient transfer of 16-20 containers of bulk spirit to move 2-3 times per week from Elgin to Central Scotland.
New HITRANS Director
Ranald Robertson took the reins as Partnership Director in November following the retirement of Dave Duthie. Ranald has worked for HITRANS since April 2002 first as Transport Development Officer then as Partnership Manager.
New Partnership Manager
Neil MacRae will join HITRANS as Partnership Manager in January 2013. Neil joins HITRANS from Highland Council where he has most recently held the position of Transportation Officer. Members and his fellow officers look forward to welcoming Neil to his new role.
Adopt an Intern Programme
HITRANS has participated in the Scottish Centre for Public Policy Adopt an Intern graduate placement programme for the first time. This has seen James MacKessack-Leitch join the HITRANS team on a 14 week work placement. James has fitted in really well working on a number of projects gaining experience which we hope will stand him in good stead in his future career. And we are paying him!
Happy Christmas to all our readers!