Campaigners hoping to halt the planned removal of cycle lanes on Aberdeen’s beach esplanade believe securing their future could be of benefit to both cyclists and city residents.
Segregated cycle paths were installed on the esplanade two months ago by Aberdeen City Council, funded by the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People programme, aimed at aiding social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
However the local authority has now announced the paths will be removed again, a move being met with dismay by cyclists region-wide.
The Aberdeen Cycle Forum, Grampian Cycle Partnership, and Scottish Cycling North East Grampian are pleading with the council to reverse that decision, arguing the path’s design should be improved rather than removed altogether.
Gavin Clark from Aberdeen Cycle Forum said: “We are dismayed at this decision. We are still in the middle of a pandemic where social distancing is as vital as ever. The paths at the beach will facilitate this not just at the beach but across the city by taking the pressure off other modes of transport such as buses.
“The road is sufficiently wide to accommodate the cycle path without removing any parking spaces. It has also resolved a long-standing issue with speeding as the narrower carriageway has slowed the speed of traffic. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The groups are now offering to work with the council to ensure the path design works for everyone.
Colin Allanach from Scottish Cycling North East Grampian, added: “The council’s own papers show that cycling has increased significantly in the area, including by children, and people getting more active. It’s still early days for this path and we believe even more people will use it if it’s embraced and well promoted.”
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen City Council said :”The chief executive will respond to the letter in due course.”