Plans have been tabled for faster, high-quality and sustainable public transport in the north east of Scotland.
The new Aberdeen Rapid Transit (ART) scheme aims to develop a “significantly enhanced” bus system, promising frequent and reliable services, dedicated bus lanes and off-board fare collection to ease queueing.
Nestrans, the regional transport partnership for the north east of Scotland, is joining forces with Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and operators in a bid to make buses “attractive, accessible and easy to use”, and help reduce the area’s carbon footprint.
Councillor John Crawley, chair of Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “Our vision is for a cross-city network of ART priority routes that connect people to the places they want to go to, including key education, employment, healthcare, retail and leisure destinations, the airport and rail station, as well as the city centre.
“ART aims to provide a more attractive alternative to car travel for many journeys, helping to reduce congestion and air pollution, as well as better services for the many people that do not have access to a car.”
An initial bid for investment was submitted to the Scottish Government’s £500m Bus Partnership Fund (BPF) in 2021, resulting in a £2m award to develop the business cases and designs for ART.
Aberdeen councillor Michael Hutchison, the vice-chair of Nestrans, said: “Rapid transit schemes have been successful in other cities, including in Belfast and Bristol, and I believe it can be a success for Aberdeen too.
“The delivery of our own rapid transit scheme will give us the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and to help make the north east a better place to live, work and visit.
“It would be a step towards realising our ambition of making Aberdeen the net-zero capital of the world.
“We hope that people will help us to get this right for the north east.”