Hopes have been raised that a footpath may finally be installed in a Moray village divided by a busy road.
The A941 Rothes road is the main route for traffic heading south from Elgin towards Perth as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow.
However, despite the large amount of lorries using the route the only footpath next to it in Fogwatt is a muddy track.
Campaigners have long been pressing for a pavement for locals amid concerns for youngsters waiting for the school bus and locals walking to the village hall.
Now the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (Hitrans) has pledged to draw up a design for a footpath and submit a funding bid to help cover the cost.
Willie Duncan, a member of Heldon Community Council, which represents the village, said: “Residents have long been calling for a proper path. The present one is just a muddy track along the verge.
“I’m pleased we seem to be making some progress. I know it would be welcomed by everyone in Fogwatt.”
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It is hoped that a design for the improvements will be prepared early next year before a bid is submitted to Transport Scotland’s Community Links fund.
Talks were recently held in the village, which is about five miles south of Elgin, between the community council, Moray Council and Hitrans.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “Fogwatt is divided by the A941, which is an extremely busy road.
“A footpath would allow residents to walk safely to the village hall and bus stop and each other’s houses.
“At the moment they have to navigate an uneven path along the roadside verge, which is clearly unsatisfactory.”
Ranald Robertson (CORR), partnership director of Hitrans, said: “I believe this is a promising project that would deliver very well for villagers.
“Supporting communities find sustainable ways of travelling is something we are keen to assist with and a new footpath in Fogwatt will help to achieve that.”
The community links fund has previously helped pay for the popular cycling and walking path that now links Elgin and Lhanbryde.