Highland councillor David Fraser is seeking to put a safe low-level path for walkers and cyclists, linking Inverness, Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus, back on the agenda
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A low-level path to secure a safe route for walkers and cyclists near the A82 will save lives, it has been claimed.
Highland councillor David Fraser (Aird and Loch Ness) said that support for the plans, laid out by the community council in Drumnadrochit were taking shape – but more community support for the plan was always welcomed.
The path, that would run from Fort Augustus to Inverness, would take the many thousands of tourists away from the main road, and it is hoped it will improve road safety.
Cllr Fraser said: “Councillor Margaret Davidson and I had a meeting with John Lauder the deputy chief executive of Sustrans and Kate Forbes MSP to ask that the concept of a low-level cycle path and walkway from Inverness to Fort Augustus is revisited.
“This scheme had been in the Transport Scotland capital plan before the 2008 recession and we are asking for a feasibility study to be carried out as we feel this would have huge benefits for locals and visitors.
“We have also raised the importance of zero or low carbon solutions to transport from the central belt to the Highlands and investment in sufficient charging points across the region so we can meet future environmental challenges.
“We received a positive response from Sustrans and when the funding stream reopens in 2022, Highland Council will submit a funding bid for the feasibility study. This study would be 100 per cent funded by Transport Scotland.”
Cllr Fraser said he was heartened to receive support from a HGV driver. The driver was highlighting the risks faced by families with multiple young children on bikes, riding along the A82 in national speed limit sections, and how difficult it is for a loaded arctic lorry to safely overtake them.
“Imagine how rare an opportunity is for a loaded arctic to pass, the distance you need to be able to see to safely pass and pull off the manoeuvre is quite a lot if you want no risk of an oncoming car or bike having to slow for you,” the driver said. “If the cyclists are spread out, there may simply be no safe place to pass them until they decide stop, which they’re currently under no obligation to do.
“Obviously no one is interested in having an arctic stuck behind them for a long time so generally they’ll help us pass and be good sports about it but I can’t help but feel there’s a huge amount of safety and economic growth to be gained from this cycle path. I think it would be a very beneficial investment in the local economy and safety of all our road users”.