New walking and cycle routes are being proposed for the scenic landscape surrounding the Cairnorms.
Transport Scotland is seeking views on route options between Aviemore and Carrbridge and will be staging a virtual exhibition to share those options with the public.
Local councillor and Highland Council convener Bill Lobban said it has “long been an aspiration of communities in Badenoch and Strathspey to be better connected to each other”, describing the consultation as “yet another step forward”.
“While at times it has seemed like we were getting nowhere with Transport Scotland over this issue and were being completely ignored, it is good to see they are beginning to realise how important it really is,” he said.
“It goes to show that when we work together we can achieve some really good outcomes.
“That is down collectively to the three community councils, Highland Council and the National Park who stuck to their guns.
“Now we want to see the route chosen and completed.”
A public exhibition in September 2019 undertaken as part of the Aviemore to Carrbridge route study has helped shape the corridors and options available.
A virtual public exhibition started yesterday and will run for four weeks, updating communities, cyclists, equestrians and walkers on the options.
Members of the public are being urged to visit the virtual exhibition and give their feedback on the emerging routes.
As part of the public engagement, Transport Scotland will also be holding a live online webinar on November 24, where the project team will explain aspects of the project in more detail and answer any queries.
Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to promoting active travel in Scotland.
“As part of that commitment, Transport Scotland is continuing to work with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS) and Sustrans to deliver the Aviemore to Carrbridge Non-Motorised User (NMU) route study.
“The design work for the Aviemore to Carrbridge NMU Route continued during the lockdown, while complying with the Government’s physical distancing guidance.
“We are now able to update local communities, cyclists, equestrians and walkers on the emerging route options identified following on from last year’s public exhibitions.
“I would urge anyone with an interest in this scheme to view the virtual exhibition and give us their views on the proposed options as we look to identify a preferred corridor option next year.”