Plans for an innovative project to explore the potential for community transport in North Ayrshire will be discussed next week.

North Ayrshire Council (NAC) is looking to undertake a 'community transport pathfinder' project to provide “flexible and accessible community-led solutions” to transport issues in its communities.

At a meeting of the authority's cabinet on Tuesday, the blueprint for a Pathfinder project is expected to be agreed.

Recent mini enquiries and other public engagement work found that access and availability of transport is contributing to the cost-of-living crisis.

A pot of £100,000 has been set aside for a community transport pathfinder project in North Ayrshire Council's budget.

Officers have held talks with Coalfield Community Transport (CCT), an existing Ayrshire community transport charity, that is interested in exploring a potential partnership to provide community transport services.

Throughout this summer, surveys will be carried out to gauge demand, assess local travel needs, discover gaps in services and identify potential priorities and locations for a pilot scheme.

The survey will run alongside an initial launch of CCT’s Dayhopper service, offering passengers in North Ayrshire scenic tours and shopping excursions if they sign up to become a member of CCT.

CCT currently provides accessible, affordable transport for socially or economically disadvantaged groups, voluntary groups and third sector organisations in East Ayrshire.

The initiative was launched in May 2002 to provide affordable and accessible transport solutions for community and voluntary groups and individuals living in the area's former coalfield communities.