Quarter-million-pound boost for improvements to Deeside Way

Lucy Johnston 2020, News

Nestrans has been successful in applying for funding which will allow substantial improvements to be made to one of the region’s favourite walking and cycling routes.

£250,000 of support from Sustrans Scotland will fund work that will increase the width of the path along The Deeside Way, supporting safe physical distancing for those using the route. The shared-use path, which is part of National Cycle Network Route 195, connects several communities along its 41 mile length, and serves as a popular active travel route for locals and visitors alike.

The improvements will involve clearing overgrown vegetation, fixing long-standing drainage problems, resurfacing, and removing obstacles and barriers. The work will be carried out by Aberdeenshire Council from Crathes to Banchory and from Dinnet to Ballater. Contractors will begin the work in October.

The improvements build on almost £90,000 of recent work to two sections of the route, carried out by Aberdeenshire Council with funding from Nestrans.

Chair of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald said, “I am delighted that this approach has been successful. The Deeside Way is a much-loved path with beautiful surroundings, and it is no surprise it has been well-used during the recent months.

“A combination of environmental factors has meant that the path’s width has been restricted in some areas and these works will help to regain that lost space. This not only allows for better physical distancing, but it enables the path to be safely accessed and enjoyed by all for years to come.”

Vice Chair of Nestrans, and Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle said, “We know that more people will choose to travel by walking, cycling or other active means if they can use traffic-free paths, such as The Deeside Way, and we are lucky to have a number of such routes in the region. The news that this call funding bid has been successful is therefore great news for all users of this fantastic route.”

Director of Sustrans Scotland, Karen McGregor said: “We are delighted to support our partners at Nestrans in these improvements along National Cycle Network Route 195, the Deeside Way.

“Giving everyone in Scotland the space and opportunities to walk, wheel and cycle safely is more important than ever, and the significant rise in active journeys over recent months has shown the huge public appetite to make healthier travel choices.

“The beautiful greenspaces of traffic-free routes such as the Deeside Way are a vital part of this, and we look forward to continuing our work to create a National Cycle Network of paths for everyone, loved by the communities they serve.”