Regional transport body Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has invested more than £4 million in North Ayrshire in the past five years, a new report has revealed.
The report, ‘SPT: Delivering for North Ayrshire’, shows over £3.5 million of capital funding was awarded to support a range of sustainable transport projects in the area between 2017 and 2021.
More than £500,000 million of additional money was also awarded to North Ayrshire Council in 2021/22 to support their delivery.
The investment included £410,000 to help deliver a series of targeted bus improvement projects in Irvine, Ardrossan, Largs, Dalry, Beith and Kilwinning.
This results in upgrades to bus shelters, high access curbs to help people with reduced mobility board and alight services more easily, and real-time passenger information displays introduced.
Between 2017 and 2020, SPT contributed over £1.1 million to support the council’s Irvine town centre improvement project that saw a major upgrade of the High Street and Bank Street areas.
A further £519,000 was awarded in support of bus route congestion measures, with new technology now being used to ensure smoother traffic flow at junctions and improve bus journey times between the “three towns” - Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston - and Kilmarnock.
SPT funding has also been used to support the development of Ardrossan Harbour Interchange, and £1 million of investment from the travel body helped support Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited’s redevelopment of Brodick Ferry Terminal on Arran.
And it has provided over £1 million to the council’s ongoing “Irvine Cycle Friendly Town” project.
North Ayrshire is one of is one of 12 council areas to benefit from funding provided by SPT, which also covers East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, 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 North Ayrshire and across the region either directly or on behalf of councils.
“As this report shows, we have invested more than £4 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.”