A project team have been reviewing travel options and following the recent re-tender process for school transport contracts, the decision was made for the council to trial delivering more in-house school transport routes using buses with ultra-low emission engines.

Six of the buses have been delivered with a further six expected to arrive in mid-November.

The pilot will begin in January 2023 and initially routes covered will be across rural Inverness, the Black Isle, Loch-Ness-side and Nairn.

Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: ‘The Highland Council already delivers in-house school transport so I’m delighted this pilot will be expanding on what we already have in place.

‘It is great to see us taking the initiative. It means we can avoid being exposed to excessive costs from the commercial sector and the ultra-low emission engines the buses have will benefit the environment. This is a huge step forward for us, ultimately so we can provide cost-effective and reliable transport for our public services as well as school pupils across the Highlands.’