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A new project is going back to the future which could lead to bikes more regularly replacing delivery vans on busy streets.

An £80,000 trial with 12 electric cargo bikes has started in Inverness, Oban and Orkney as part of a shift towards a low carbon, sustainable environment.

£5m for transport pilot schemes

It is one example of a series of initiatives being trialled in the Highlands and Islands, giving a glimpse of what rural travel may look like in future.

Regional transport partnership Hitrans is involved in pilots which have attracted nearly £5m of European funds.

They involve trials of electric bikes and vehicles, a driverless bus, ground-breaking phone apps and on-demand transport services.

The aim is to make travel greener and more efficient for residents and visitors in more peripheral areas.

The e-cargo bikes project involves Laughing Tree Couriers, Velocity bike shop and café, High Life Highland and Prissy Queen of Desserts in Inverness.

The Hope Kitchen, Go Naked Veg and MacQueen Bros in Oban, and Act Now (Mid Argyll) and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust in Lochgilphead are also taking part.

In Orkney, bikes are being trialled by Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Community Council, Stronsay Development Trust, Sanday Community Council and Kirkwall Pier.

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