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Public asked for feedback on proposed Maritime Heritage Trail in Inverness

By Andrew Dixon

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A map of the proposed route.
A map of the proposed route.

Plans to improve links between Inverness city centre and the city’s "maritime quarter" for cyclists and pedestrians have moved a step closer.

The Port of Inverness has been awarded a £22,500 grant from sustainable travel charity Sustrans, as part of the Scottish Government-funded Community Links programme, to draw up detailed plans for a Maritime Heritage Trail.

The public are now being invited to a consultation day in the Victorian Market in Inverness next Wednesday to find out more and comment on the new trail.

The proposed improved link, first announced in December 2017, will follow part of the existing National Cycle Network Route 1 and will lead from Inverness Marina, past the port and along Shore Street into the city centre.

The increasing numbers of tourists visiting the maritime quarter, along with the considerable numbers cycling to work has prompted the plans for a dedicated route.

Port chief executive Sinclair Browne said: “With more people taking dolphin trips, yachtsmen calling at the marina, and holiday makers embarking and disembarking from cruises at the port, the need for an attractive route to encourage people to visit the city centre is becoming more apparent.

"In addition, plans for the Harbour Gait Waterfront development site will also increase visitors and cyclists to this area.

“The Longman area is also busy with cyclists who cycle to work over the Kessock Bridge and a combined cycle/pedestrian route would enable everyone to travel safely to the city centre. We are looking forward to hearing what local people and businesses think of our plans and to moving forward after taking their views onboard.”

Dave Keane, community links manager for Sustrans Scotland, said: “This is a project which will provide long-lasting benefit to people making everyday journeys to and from Inverness city centre and those using the National Cycle Network to explore the Scottish Highlands. We are pleased to have been able to support it, alongside the wider plans for the Inverness Active Travel Network.”

The proposed route is around one-mile long and there are plans to include interpretation panels highlighting the port’s historical significance.

There has been a port in Inverness since the 13th century which became a major centre of trade with Europe during the Industrial Revolution.

The consultation event takes place next Wednesday from 11.30am-4pm at the Victorian Market. More information and the opportunity to comment online is also available at www.portofinverness.co.uk

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