An on-demand electric minibus called the “Wee Bus” has launched in the Black Isle area of Scotland in the Highlands, following successful funding rounds to get the service operational.

Remote local areas across the UK and Ireland have suffered a dearth of rural connections because of the ongoing cuts in funding for rural transport. As in Asia, minibuses are an increasingly popular option as they are much cheaper to run than regular bus services and faster.

The service will allow permanent and temporary residents of the Ferintosh Community Council area to book journeys to and from their abodes.

The electric, six-seater, wheelchair accessible vehicle is currently available between 9:30 and 16:00, Monday to Friday.

Passengers can book journeys between any two points in the local area while also connecting to the A9 towards Inverness.

The trial run is “pay what you can” for any Black Isle destinations, with a recommended £2 cash return fare, making it much cheaper than owning a car which will sit for 90% of the time on a driveway.

“I am using the FCB more than I would have used the standard service because of the home pickup,” one local person told the Press and Journal, adding “Walking to Culbokie without any pavements for a mile is no fun.”

The project is supported through an Europan Union legacy project called ‘MOVE’ which seeks to improve public transport and connectivity issues in rural areas.