DESIGNERS LOOKING AT the dualling of the A96 through Moray are being urged to include provisions for cyclists in their plans.
Earlier this week the Scottish Government announced that they had taken a major step forward in their plans for dualling the entire route of the Inverness to Aberdeen road, offering a design contract worth up to £50million for the section through Moray.
Now local campaigner Neil Jeronim is urging whoever wins that contract to consider the opportunity it presents to create a cycle track at the same time – something that he says Transport Scotland appeared to be overlooking.
Mr Jeronim has been leading a campaign for several years seeking the creation of a cycle path along the side of the A96 between Forres and Brodie. Following the announcement this week he has written to both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Finance Secretary John Finney urging them to ensure a path is considered on the new route.
The Dyke-based campaigner said: “Transport Scotland do not seem to be very cyclist-friendly, when I went to a meeting in Inverness it seemed that they had dropped any ideas of including cycling provision in the dualling of the A96.
“That is a shame because people want it – with some foresight we could join an A96 path to the Aberdeen bypass and even on to the A92 path, creating a long-distance cycle way that could have the same effect as the West Highland Way had in regards to business and tourism.”
Transport Scotland insist that ideas of incorporating a cycle path into the new road plans had not been ruled out, saying that suitable provision for all users was an important part of the dualling programme.
A spokesman said: “We recognise the contribution local and user groups play – we have set up community council and non-motorised user forums to provide updates on emerging proposals and also to seek vital feedback, that will continue in the coming months.”