Investigations are to be undertaken to examine whether a popular cycle path in Moray can be extended to link more communities.
The Elgin to Lhanbryde route is already well used by walkers and riders who are travelling for leisure or to work.
Now Transport Scotland has confirmed it will investigate whether it is possible to extend the path a further five miles to Fochabers.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead hopes expanding the route, which already extends beyond the Speyside village, will encourage more locals to turn to two wheels to travel in and out of Elgin.
He said: “For a number of years now I have been pressing Transport Scotland to look at how they could fill the gap in the cycle path between Fochabers and Lhanbryde.
“There’s a big emphasis on trying to encourage people to leave their cars at home and switch to a greener option, such as cycling, and joined up infrastructure is absolutely central to that.
“I’ve no doubt completing this route and filling the gap in the existing path would be a boost to existing cyclists in the area and would encourage others to consider getting on their bike too.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that the work will also include the possibility of a pedestrian crossing at the roundabout on the eastern edge of Elgin.
The location is popular with customers walking to the KFC, McDonald’s and Costa branches in the area.
Transport Scotland has already committed to including new routes for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders as part of the project to upgrade the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road.
The agency expects nearly 25 miles of dedicated paths will be created while the new dual carriageway is built between Nairn and Fochabers.
The findings of a study to examine the section between Lhanbryde and Fochabers are expected to be published later this month.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We commissioned a report to investigate the feasibility of achieving a cycle route between the two locations.
“Desktop studies commenced during the lockdown period, survey work has recently been undertaken and a draft report is currently being developed, we plan to present our findings later this month.
“The brief required a safe and cost effective cycle route; Bear Scotland is considering the development of existing footways, use of local C class roads and the construction of a short section of a new cycle path. Discussions are under way with stakeholders along the route.”