Regional transport body Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has invested almost £5 million in East Ayrshire in the past five years, a new report has revealed.
The report, ‘SPT: Delivering for East Ayrshire’, shows nearly £4 million of capital funding was awarded to support a range of sustainable transport projects in the area between 2017 and 2021.
Almost £1 million of additional money was also awarded to East Ayrshire Council in 2021/22 to support their delivery.
The investment includes funding of over £1.4 million to help Ayrshire Roads Alliance complete the A70 Road Realignment project near Glenbuck. The 800 metre stretch of the route, which is one of the main access roads to Ayrshire, had been considered substandard in terms of its alignment, carriageway width and forward visibility.
In 2020, a major refurbishment of Cumnock Bus Station was completed by the council with £750,000 of support from SPT.
A major refurbishment of Kilmarnock Bus Station, which started in 2019, is ongoing. It is being funded by SPT and will see significant enhancements to the look, feel and layout of the bey interchange, which serves the wider Ayrshire region and provides connections to Glasgow and beyond.
SPT carries around 3,400 children to and from school every day in East Ayrshire, and has also provided funding totalling £117,000 to support the design and construction of Kilmaurs Park and Ride.
The transport body has also helped to fund developments in Active Travel and Community Transport.
East Ayrshire is one of is one of 12 council areas to benefit from funding provided by SPT, which also covers Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and the Helensburgh and Lomond area of Argyll and Bute.
The transport body pointed out that the cross-council boundary nature of transport and travel means investment in one area will benefit all residents who travel for work or leisure.
Across the west of Scotland, SPT has supported 6.1 million bus station departures across Buchanan, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Greenock, Braehead and Silverburn in recent years.
It has sold 515,000 ZoneCard tickets since 2017/18 across the Subway and participating rail and bus operators, and 43.7 million Subway journeys have been taken since 2017.
It has supported 200 bus services run by around 20 operators on behalf of SPT, and has 33 MyBus services operating in the west of Scotland.
SPT has also invested in several regional projects in recent years, including the Subway Modernisation Project, its ongoing bus stop and shelter upgrade programme and its Real Time Passenger Information roll out.
Valerie Davidson, chief executive of SPT, said:
“We continue to deliver a range of services in East Ayrshire and across the region either directly or on behalf of councils.
“As this report shows, we have invested almost £5 million over the last five years in sustainable transport projects in the area.
“SPT’s activities support the west of Scotland’s regional transport network to the benefit of all residents who travel across the area.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in significant impacts on our operational activities due to reduced travel demand, the majority of services were maintained to ensure transport remained in place for key workers and those making essential trips.”