Electric bus service to link Forres to Aberlour, Rafford and Dallas
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AN ELECTRIC bus, which cuts emissions by 70 per cent, will be connecting Forres to Aberlour, as well as villages around the town.
A pilot scheme of the electric bus began on January 19 and, after success, it is now hoped the timetable can be expanded. Today (Thursday) saw the official launch.
Currently, the Moray council run service, called m.connect, leaves Aberlour at 7:10am in the morning and arrives in Forres at 8:25am, travelling through Archiestown, Craigellachie, Knockando, Rafford and Dallas.
It is hoped the bus will give those comuting from Rafford and Dallas into Forres for work an alternative to driving – and it will be the only public transport to arrive in Forres before 9am from those villages.
The bus returns to Aberlour just after 5pm, again ideal for those working in Forres and living in villages around the town. The return journey also takes 75 minutes.
The funding for the bus has all come from grants, and not out of the Moray Council's budgets.
Forres Councillor Aaron McLean thinks the bus is a big step in the right direction. He said: "It's good for the likes of Rafford and Dallas to have that bus service into town.
"The technology involved in the bus is the future of public transport. We see it a lot in cities so it's good to see it happening in a rural area.
"Hopefully there will be more services and more busses like this as well, because they are far better for the environment."
There is no option to charge the bus in Aberlour or Forres at the moment and it is currently charged overnight at Ashgrove in Elgin.
The pilot scheme is technically still running, with a few glitches expected along the way. It's important battery doesn't run out along the way, with towing the bus not an option due to risk of fire.
Council Leader Graham Leadbitter is upbeat about the bus. He said: "I'm delighted Moray is the first rural area to trial this new type of travel.
"We know the significant impact electric buses have had in urban areas and we are keen to demonstrate green public transport is a sustainable and economical way forward for rural areas too."