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Consultation launched in the Black Isle for active travel link

Anne Thomas, director of Transition Black Isle and fellow member Julian Paren photographed outside Munlochy.
Anne Thomas, director of Transition Black Isle and fellow member Julian Paren photographed outside Munlochy.

A Highland community group is working to garner community support for an active travel link on a busy Black Isle road.

Transition Black Isle (TBI) are striving to improve road safety on the A832 between Munlochy and Avoch with the creation of a pedestrian and cycle path.

The walkway would make it more accessible for people or all ages and abilities to travel on foot, bike, wheelchair, mobility scooter or with a pram between the rural villages.

Funding for the project was previously secured in 2014 for a feasibility study – but no further progress was made then.

Consultants Pell Frischmann completed an Options Appraisal Study concluding one practicle route for commuter cycling, a path that lay beside the main road from Avoch to the Munlochy War Memorial, including a section along the old railway line.

Director Anne Thomas said the creation of the travel link would transform the area through improving access to the region’s amenities.

She said: “We really think it could be quite transformational. That stretch of very fast road is the real deterrent for people to commute into Inverness or from one village to another.

“There have been a number of accidents on that road so it really isn’t a very safe route. It’s very narrow and fast moving and that would make a huge difference.”

She added: “It is really important that we do come away from the focus on roads and give more emphasis on active travel because we do need to work towards it.

“Highland Council has set a target of 2030 that they want to be carbon neutral and that’s a huge ask. We won’t be able to do that unless we get this project through.”

The community group have now launched a month-long consultation to gather the public’s feedback on their proposals.

Efforts are ongoing to engage and reach an agreement with tenants and other landowners along the route.

The public consultation, which will run until March 29, will be presented on-line through a presentation and feedback form.

Real-time online Q&A sessions will be held on March 20, 23 and 25th ahead of the deadline.

The consultation can be accessed through TBI’s website at www.transitionblackisle.org/active-link.asp

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