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Garioch cycle routes plan to link Kintore, Inverurie and Kemnay moves forward

By David Porter

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Following the publication of a full feasibility report entitled ‘Kemnay to Kintore/Inverurie Cycle Route – Feasibility Study’ which was taken forward by AECOM on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council councillors at the Garioch area committee this week discussed the findings.

The report outlines a total of six route options which have been considered as viable, three from Inverurie to Kemnay, and three from Kemnay to Kintore.

The aim of the Strategic Cycle Routes project is to create a framework of longer distance routes connecting key settlements to main service centres along the main transport corridors into and between these settlements.

Considerable discussion was had over the routes, with councillor Martin Ford, a committed cyclist offering first hand input to the debate.

Concerns was raised over the potential for the routes to be seen in competition to each other, which councillors were keen to stress was not the case.

Councillor Ford said: "There is no realistic danger that we would not be able to complete two routes.

"With increase cycling funding expected across Scotland as part of the deal between the SNP and the Green Party, I have no worries on that issue.

"The consultation must be conducted in a way that it is clear that it is not a competition in an either or fashion.

"We should not end up in a silly debate on whether we should have a right sleeve or a left sleeve on a jacket, both are needed and it is the same here.

"It should be explicitly clear that it will not be one or the other.

"We expect and aim to build both routes."

Councillor Neil Baillie, along with other members were in favour of route choices that in effect created a loop around Kemnay, Kintore and Inverurie which was seen as being a positive for leisure use as well as for those cycling to work or school.

He said: "It will be interesting to see what the feedback from public consultation will be on this matter."

Councillor Judy Whyte: "It has taken a lot of time and effort to even get to this stage and it is exciting to see this coming forward.

"We need to be clear that we are aspiring to build both, but we need to be clear that it is subject to a variety of caveats, but we need to be ready to respond to any funding that is out there and grasping oportunities that arise and we need to have our bit ready to add to any bigger picture such as route dualling and housing developments."

A public engagement will be taken forward on the six options which will be brought back to the committee in January next year.

A full copy of the 142 page report can be found on the council's website under the latest meeting for the Garioch Area Committee as item 7 on the agenda.

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