Consultants AECOM presented the draft HITRANS Lorry Parking Strategy designed to complement work being undertaken by SCOTFLAG, the Scottish Freight and Logistics Advisory Group, and other RTPs. With 9 million tonnes of freight moving annually in our area, efficient accessibility to the periphery is an important factor in economic development.
High Speed Rail
The Partnership is supportive of the improvement in access to the South East of England that HSR potentially provides for the areas it serves. We will respond to the current consultations on how it can best be achieved. The challenge will be to ensure that the access needs of all parts of the UK, including the Highlands and Islands, which are not directly served by HSR, are equally considered by the UK Government when setting transport policy in other sectors, allowing the remoter regions to play a part in the growth of the UK economy.
Moray Task Force
HITRANS working with Moray Council have undertaken a transport study which identifies the areas where Government investment in transport, following the closure of RAF Kinloss, and the possible
future closure of RAF Lossiemouth, is likely to provide the greatest benefit to the future economy of Moray. Focussed works on the major transport corridors serving Moray were identified, with improvements to the A96 and A95, and rail improvements on the Inverness-Aberdeen line, as were improved coach services to the Central Belt, and a new dredger for Buckie Harbour to support the harbour’s development as a renewable energy service centre.
CHRONOS Solar Powered Information Systems
HITRANS has been a member of the CHRONOS project consortium along with Nexus Alpha, Moray Council, ScotRail and JMW. With funding from the Technology Strategy Board, a cost-effective passenger information display for rural and low footfall areas has been designed and rolled out to four bus stop locations in Moray. Phase 2 will see displays installed at 10 rail stations in Highland and Moray. The project has been shortlisted in two categories in the Scottish Transport Awards.
Rail Passenger Survey
An overview of findings from the HITRANS-specific extension of the National Passenger Survey carried out by Passenger Focus was presented. Commissioned to add value to our InverCity and 4castOD studies underway we will also use the findings to help us formulate our response to the East Coast (2012) and ScotRail (2014) refranchising processes.
Inverness Active Travel Audit
Halcrow outlined draft audit which aims to position Inverness as a Cycle City and to ensure that development in East Inverness is linked to the centre with attractive cycling and walking routes. The full suite of audits of key regional centres across the HITRANS area will be completed this year.
Traveline Scotland Blackberry Smart Phone App
The Partnership agreed to provide £12,500 from the START project budget to support the development of the Traveline Scotland smart phone application on the Blackberry platform. This application will mean Traveline Scotland transport information is available to download on iPhone, Android and Blackberry smart phones delivering multi modal transport information at low cost.
Conon Bridge Station
Transport Minister Keith Brown has awarded HITRANS £96k towards the design work for the new station, enabling the project to be moved to ‘ready to go to tender ‘stage.
2011-12 Business Plan
Our £300k research and development programme for 2011-12 was approved by the Board, including continued funding for European projects, kick start for bus services and plans to assist winter
resilience on road and rail networks.