Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Jill Webster was today (Fri, May 16) joined by pupils from Dales Park School, members of Jog Scotland and transport group Getabout to mark the completion of the A90 Shared Use Cycle Path around Peterhead.
The completion of the 500m link completes a 19km shared use facility providing cyclists, walkers and runners with a valuable recreational facility, while connecting the north and south areas of Peterhead.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Provost Webster said: “The completion of the A90 Path is another part of the Cycle Demonstration Town jigsaw coming together and marks the development of some 19km of shared use paths running across the town.
“It’s a real pleasure to see people being active and enjoying these facilities. Knowing that we are putting in place infrastructure and facilities that will support many generations to come, particularly in light of the environmental and health issues we hear about on a daily basis, makes me extremely proud that we can do something to combat these issues.”
Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of the Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, added: “This particular scheme has been warmly welcomed by local residents and thanks to a concerted push by the Cycle Demonstration Town project team to bring it forward, coupled with financial support from our regional transport partners Nestrans with match funding from Sustrans, we now have another excellent and valuable resource for the community.”
Levels of cycling within Peterhead have been increasing year on year since the Cycle Demonstration Town (CDT) concept was taken forward in 2008 by Aberdeenshire Council; an achievement which was recognised with an award at the 2013 Scottish Transport Awards.
The project has been helping to create a better environment for walkers and cyclists, focussing on creating links between people, work and recreational facilities resulting in some 200 additional trips made by bike every week.
The CDT project goes beyond infrastructure and has supported bike recycling and a number of bike events.
Speaking ahead of the opening, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The new shared path around Peterhead will benefit the local community and help to meet the demand for cycling and walking infrastructure.
“The Scottish Government is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure, training and road safety projects through active partnerships with charities such as Sustrans to make Scotland a more active and healthy nation and increase the numbers of people choosing to cycle each day.
“We provided around £14m to the Community Links programme, which is the largest ever funding pot available to local authorities for these projects, to ensure infrastructure is delivered to make cycling a safe and realistic travel choice.”
Paul Downie, Community Links Project Officer for Sustrans Scotland, said: “The work that Aberdeenshire Council, led by Chris Menzies and his team, have undertaken in Peterhead has had a significant impact on active travel throughout the town. This particular path provides an important link to employment areas and is the missing piece in a circular route around the town.
“Sustrans Scotland was delighted to contribute Community Links funding to the project and we have enjoyed working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council to ensure its successful delivery. We look forward to working with the council again in the future on additional routes in Peterhead and, indeed, in other areas across Aberdeenshire.”
Also attending the event were members of the newly established Peterhead Cycle Club who have been supported as part of the CDT project.
Two other major schemes will be started this year in Peterhead that will create a shared use path adjacent to West Road and see the completion of the Meethill Road cycle route scheme.
Building upon the Peterhead success, Aberdeenshire Council was also awarded £690k by cycling charity Sustrans to develop its ambitious Integrated Travel Towns project.