Work will begin next week on enhancing active travel in Wick.
It’s part of the Spaces for People programme underway across the Highlands, and will enhance the active travel environment for walking and wheeling in the area.
The work includes improving dropped and pedestrian crossings, making it safer and more convenient to travel actively around main routes.
Phase 1 is for North Road, George Street and several side streets in Wick.
A number of dropped kerbs, along with tactile paving for those with visual impairments, will be installed along the length of the road to assist people in crossing safely and at points where visibility is optimum.
While the work is being undertaken, access for walkers and cyclists will be maintained via a short, on-site diversionary route.
The footpath at Milton of Wick has seen a large increase in the number people using it for exercise and it is recognised that the current narrow footway is not suitable for maintain physical distancing, particularly when people are walking in opposite directions and meet.
As part of the next phase of works, the footpath is scheduled to be upgraded to increase the overall width and ensure that it is possible to walk in either direction without having to leave the pathway in order to maintain a safe social distance.
Councillor Nicola Sinclair, chairwoman of the Caithness area committee said: “As lockdown restrictions still remain in Highland and may do for some time, the Spaces for People programme in Caithness is important in supporting people to exercise and make essential journeys.
“The planned works very much reflect feedback from the community around the areas most in need of attention, particularly for safe walking and cycling.
“As the daylight hours increase, I hope these changes will allow more people to get out in the fresh air, safely.”
The Spaces for People project is being managed and delivered by Highland Council, using Scottish Government funding.
Its core aim is making it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise while maintaining social distancing during the pandemic.