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£500,000 to be invested in active travel routes in Orkney

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Orkney Council is looking to invest £500,000 in active travel routes across the island.

The funding will be used to create and upgrade footpaths, walkways and cycleways to encourage sustainable travel and get people moving more.

In December last year, the council approved £8.25m of funding towards a range of projects supporting Orkney’s recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

The money has been left over from Scottish Government funding to help councils bounce back and offset the income lost during lockdown.

Councillors have now allocated £500,000 to improve active travel routes, which were important during and after the pandemic.

The local authority wants to invest in projects that have strong backing from the communities, such as Your Kirkwall and What’s Next for Stromness.

To get a full view of what projects are likely to receive funding, over 1,200 questionnaires were issued to gain feedback from residents.

Residents to be asked for their views

There will also be 11 virtual meetings with communities, so they have their say on potential active travel routes.

Graham Sinclair, chairman of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, said: “Active travel supports our wellbeing and is vital to a low carbon future for Orkney.

“The next step on the path to more active travel provision in Orkney is to look closely at the feedback from communities we’ve received through Orkney Matters.

“One of the key outcomes from the Orkney Matters consultation so far has been that our communities have enjoyed the great outdoors during periods of lockdown and how they would like to see more active travel journeys and opportunities for all.

“Progress will involve some further consultation to make sure we are best
using the funds and resources.

“Having this additional funding, especially after such a difficult two years, is a great position to be in and we look forward to working closely with communities to make the best of it, and make headway into some long-standing aspirations.”

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