Electric cars and bikes have been showcased on Speyside to encourage locals to switch from older technologies and embrace more eco-friendly modes of travel.
A range of activities were held in Aberlour yesterday to demonstrate the benefits such vehicles can have for the environment and to people’s health.
The event was organised by Moray Council after receiving grants totalling £810,000 from the European Regional Development Fund and Transport Scotland to promote low carbon travel.
Work will begin shortly on upgrading the section of the Speyside Way between Craigellachie and Carron to resurface it and improve drainage to make it less likely to be affected by flooding.
Meanwhile, three new charge points for electric cars will be installed in Aberlour with a shelter for electric bikes also due to come to the village and Fiddich Park in Craigellachie.
Janet MacDonald, sustainable and active travel officer at Moray Council, explained that yesterday’s event was organised to raise awareness of the planned initiatives.
She said: “Sustainable transport is high on government agendas at the moment. Aberlour is a rural village but it is a very big tourist destination.
“If we can make these technologies popular here, then it should be possible anywhere providing there is a network of charging points in place.”
Visitors to Alice Littler Park in Aberlour yesterday got to grips with electric bikes by giving them a test ride on paths next to the River Spey.
Charity Outfit Moray also ran an obstacle course for children while interested visitors sampled unusual forms of pedal power – including three-wheeled tricycles with a seat on the ground – and car dealers answered questions about electric vehicles.
The event came just days after the council launched a new electric bus route between Aberlour and Forres, which is the first rural service in Scotland to be run by the technology.
Gordon McAlpine, manager of Moray Car Share, said the group would be providing electric bikes and cars in Aberlour for members to use.
He said: “There are big health benefits with the bikes. It provides a bit of extra power if you’re going uphill or into the wind, which makes people more likely to use them.
“We’ve now got four electric cars from a fleet of 17. We actually use renewable sources to charge them up so they are completely zero-emissions.
“There are parking problems all over the UK, even in Aberlour, because there are too many cars on the road.”