Aberdeen Rapid Transit Aims to Improve Transport in North East Scotland

Nestrans, the Regional Transport Partnership for the North East of Scotland, is developing plans for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Nestrans, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and bus operators, First Bus and Stagecoach are working to deliver a new system that will enable fast, frequent and reliable bus services.

The Aberdeen Rapid Transit (ART) project will implement dedicated bus lanes, off board fare collection, and fast and efficient boarding and alighting to provide an efficient alternative to private cars.

ART aims to complement and enhance the wider public transport network in Aberdeen, Scotland
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.”

On 24 November, a campaign was launched to make this vision a reality, with work currently underway on a bid to secure the required funding.

The Scottish Government’s 500 million GBP Bus Partnership Fund (BPF) enables local authorities and bus operators to submit joint bids for projects that will improve public transport.

In 2021, Nestrans and its partners submitted an initial bid to the BPF, resulting in a successful 2 million GBP award to develop the business cases and designs for ART.

It is hoped that this work will now result in further funding to enable the delivery of ART.

Nestrans’ vice chair, Councillor Michael Hutchison, Aberdeen City Council, 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.”

Over the next few months, public consultations will be launched to help shape the ART scheme and ensure it best meets the needs of the city and its surrounding communities.

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