Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Transport scheme revealed for tunnels to islands and ‘rapid transit’ in Aberdeen

A bus-based rapid transport scheme is included within the latest strategic transport vision for Scotland.

Flagship transport plans could see islands connected with tunnels and a major new “rapid transit scheme” in Aberdeen.

The proposals are part of a far-reaching vision for key transport improvements across the country.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said his review commits to investigate the potential to build bridges or dig tunnels between Sounds of Harris and Barra, and between Mull and the Scottish mainland.

Other recommendations include carrying out enhancements to the Highland mainline and the Perth to Aberdeen rail corridors, to improve journey times and increase capacity and reliability for passenger and freight services.

‘Ambitious programme’

The SNP minister described the rapid bus transport scheme in Aberdeen as a “very ambitious programme going right out to Ellon”, which he claimed will be “transformative for the north-east”.

Michael Matheson MSP, cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport.

The published transport review says the project would “provide more competitive and efficient public transport into and around the Aberdeen city region”.

It would “prioritise buses and connect key destinations on the outskirts of Aberdeen to the city centre via busy radial corridors – including the A96, A944 and A956”.

Aberdeen Rapid Transit system

Last year, a new plan to “revolutionise” Aberdeen’s public transport system was unveiled. 

Transport chiefs in the city claimed the flagship project, dubbed the Aberdeen Rapid Transit (ART) system, would create “game-changing” public transport for the region.

It has been compared to a £90 million scheme already under way in Belfast.

An Aberdeen rapid transit service, similar to the Gliders in Belfast, could be brought to Aberdeen instead of trams.
Belfast Glider.

The Irish city’s rapid transport system uses futuristic Glider buses in dedicated lanes. 

The proposals for a similar north-east scheme were submitted to Mr Matheson for approval.

Howeer, Liam Kerr, north-east Conservative MSP, dismissed the SNP’s transport vision as little more than “warm words” for the north-east.

The Scottish Government committed £200m in 2016 to speed up journey times between the region and the central belt but this has yet to be spent.

Mr Kerr asked the transport secretary when these long-awaited improvements will be delivered.

But Mr Matheson said there has been a “challenge” over where to spend the cash.

He said: “That investment might not necessarily be on areas within Aberdeen directly in order to reduce journey times to Aberdeen.”

‘Clear shift’

However, north-east Green MSP Maggie Chapman was more optimistic about the plans put before parliament.

She said the publication marks a “clear shift in priorities from private, fossil fuel heavy transport to public transport and active travel”.

Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

She added: “The review proposes to deliver key transport projects across Scotland including the much-needed Aberdeen Rapid Transit system.

“The strategy gives us a much better direction of travel for future investment nationally.

“My constituents can be assured that I will continue to campaign for further local rail improvements.

“Specifically, the reopening of the Buchan Line to connect Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh to our rail network.

“A feasibility study on this was an important plank of our cooperation agreement and I believe it is vital to the future prosperity of the north-east.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in