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Bus fund will help councils plug gaps in services, says Maree Todd


By Alan Hendry

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Maree Todd with SNP councillor Ian Cockburn at a bus stop in Contin. The picture was taken prior to the pandemic.
Maree Todd with SNP councillor Ian Cockburn at a bus stop in Contin. The picture was taken prior to the pandemic.

SNP candidate Maree Todd believes her party’s plans to establish a Community Bus Fund can put north communities on the road to better public transport provision.

The fund, detailed in the SNP’s manifesto, will enable local authorities to look at delivering different bus services in their areas.

Ms Todd, the SNP candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said: “This is a very welcome pledge and will be of particular benefit to communities here in the Highlands.

“In my time as a Highlands and Islands MSP, I heard from several communities, such as Contin and Alness, who had been left devastated after a cut to Stagecoach services.

“The consequences of poor transport cannot be overstated – it affects how we live, work and connect with our family and friends.

“The SNP’s Community Bus Fund will grant Highland Council the powers and finances to help plug the gaps in areas where current bus services are falling short."

Ms Todd added: “I know that reliability of services is also an issue in the Highlands. The SNP is keen to address this by introducing new, zero-emission buses and removing the majority of fossil-fuel buses from public sector transport in Scotland by 2023 through a £120 million investment.

"This will help to reduce the number of vehicle breakdowns and cancelled and delayed services.”

The SNP intends to decarbonise the transport sector across Scotland by utilising the country's hydrogen resources. Scotland has already been an early adopter of hydrogen in transport, with Aberdeen being one of the first European cities to roll out hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Ms Todd said: “Hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy and we are well positioned in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross to lead the way in the fuel of the future.”


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