As part of an ambitious project to improve walking, cycling and access to public transport in Aberdeenshire, work in Ellon has already started.
Aberdeenshire Council successfully secured £690,000 of funding for the next two years from the sustainable transport charity SUSTRANS.
Ellon will benefit from £245,000 of the funding, matched by Aberdeenshire Council and regional transport partnership NESTRANS, a total of £490,000
The first project for Ellon is a new shared-use cycle path from Ellon town centre, along the riverside towards the Meadows Sports Centre.
Work has started along the riverside, where a tarmac footpath has been laid. This will be extended to a three-metre wide path wherever possible.
This path will meet up with a new pedestrian bridge to Ellon Academy and will become a route for young people and their families to get to and from the new community campus once it opens in August 2015.
It is intended to be of an excellent standard, allowing cycles, wheelchairs, prams and buggies to safely travel to and from the east side of the town.
Future work includes looking at how a link can be created south from Ellon to Tipperty, as part of a long term plan to link to Aberdeen, and how a long-distance recreational route along the river Ythan to Fyvie can be formed.
Links within Ellon to improve access to the Park and Ride and the Formartine and Buchan Way will also be investigated.
Cycle infrastructure is to be provided within the town including bike parking and lanes where feasible, the development of a walking and cycling map and route signage.
The council also plans to work closely with Ellon Academy and catchment primary schools to help with the transition to the new community campus.
Officers want to build on community ward forums held last year to provide residents with opportunities to feed into feasibility studies.
It is intended to involve the community as much as possible to create a cycle network developed by locals and used by everyone.