MORAY Council is to increase bus services in Forres and rural Speyside.
An off-peak return journey to Aberlour from Forres will be introduced, allowing users two hours in Aberlour for shopping and social purposes.
In addition, a scheduled bus service between Forres and Forbeshill will be reinstated. The service will operate five return journeys throughout the day between Forres town centre, Forbeshill and Forres medical centre, offering travel choices for locals, who have been without a scheduled bus service since the commercially-provided previous service was withdrawn in May 2017.
All journeys will be serviced by an electric bus, which is currently being used to trial Scotland’s first rural electric bus route between Aberlour and Forres. The bus has been funded by G-PaTra and the Green Bus Fund, so the introduction of these services is expected to be cost neutral for the council.
Moray Council’s Transportation Manager, Nicola Moss, said the trial has proved the vehicle can handle challenging terrain and longer journeys, so it can be used more intensively to provide further bus services for residents and visitors to Moray.
“Providing an enhanced service on the Aberlour to Forres corridor will help tackle social isolation, and offer improved connectivity. The major communities on this corridor have only very limited access to shopping and leisure facilities, and the provision of an off-peak service to Aberlour will go some way to offsetting this concern, whilst supporting local businesses in Aberlour.
“Providing journeys between Forres town centre, Forres medical centre and Forbeshill will offer additional travel choices and see us increase accessible public transport options to the widest possible area of Moray.
“The increased use of the electric bus provides a low carbon alternative to private car transport, supporting our target to become carbon neutral by 2030.”
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.