Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Why campaigners are refusing to give up on 18-year fight for new Moray cycle path to close ‘missing link’ on coast

The Lossiemouth to Hopeman route was named as a key priority for the communities but has reached a stalemate.

Malcolm Campbell on bike on road being overtaken by car.
Malcolm Campbell, chairman of Laich of Moray Active Travel Routes, cycles the area regularly. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Campaigners spearheading a new cycle path linking Lossiemouth and Hopeman fear their 18-year fight could become a permanent stalemate without legal support.

Negotiations have secured access to almost all the plots needed for the seven miles with only Moray Golf Club and a local farm owner standing firm.

Charity Laich of Moray Active Travel Routes believes the missing link on the coast will secure the necessary funding to be built – but only if land hurdles can be overcome.

It says only a 16ft corridor is needed for the path that will be suitable for walking, cycling and wheelchairs to improve road safety.

The group fears an impasse could ensue without council support to secure the land – a move that has been dismissed as “financially reckless”.

What is needed to progress Lossiemouth to Hopeman path

The Lossiemouth to Hopeman cycle path was initiated by Moray Council as far back as 2006 as part of an “aspirational network” of active travel.

The short stretch is a missing link with almost the entire length of the Moray Firth coastline connected with accessible routes.

It was then revived in 2013 by the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust after it was identified as the second-biggest priority in the town – coming only behind securing the future of the East Beach bridge.

Malcolm Campbell leaning on fence with bike.
Malcolm Campbell believes the route would help promote active travel across Moray. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Funding from £100,000 has already been provided by Sustrans to do surveys and examine designs.

However, an impasse has now been reached surrounding the access to land. It is understood one of the main pinchpoints is the area near the fifth tee at Moray Golf Club, near the RAF fence.

Laich of Moray Active Travel Routes believes only a compulsory purchase or lease can provide a way forward.

Chairman Malcolm Campbell, who is a keen cyclist himself, said: “We need a legal process to get access to the land, which only the council can initiate.

“Once agreements are in place then we can go back to funders. At the moment none of the funders will give us money without the land.

“We’re confident of securing the money needed from the Scottish Government and approaching other funders.”

Moray Council ruled out supporting the project in May last year, describing it as “financially reckless” to support without more information about how ongoing maintenance would be funded among other issues.

Mr Campbell added: “I do have some sympathy for the council being understaffed and budgets being tight, and money having to come from elsewhere, but there is money being made available to specifically promote active travel.

“It can only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed. The council must reconsider its position and support this project.”

Road safety concerns between Lossiemouth and Hopeman

One of the key drivers of the Lossiemouth to Hopeman cycle path are fears surrounding road safety on the B9040 road linking the communities.

Hundreds of holidaymakers stay at the large Silver Sands Holiday Park every day during the summer, with many walking into Lossiemouth during their stay.

There are concerns erosion to the coastal path have made it unsuitable for prams and wheelchairs. The alternative route next to the B9040 has no pavement.

Speeding concerns are regularly reported on the stretch of road.

Covesea lighthouse viewed from beach.
A path could provide a more accessible and reliable route from Lossiemouth to Covesea lighthouse. Image: Shutterstock.

Carolle Ralph, chairwoman of Lossiemouth Community Council, said: “We really need to do something there before someone gets seriously injured.

“The huge expansion of Silver Sands has made it a bigger priority, it’s absolutely massive now.

“Through eight months of the year there’s rarely a day where groups of people aren’t walking into town along the road.”

Have your say on Lossiemouth projects

A coffee morning event is being held on Saturday at Lossiemouth Town Hall from 10am to 12noon for locals to have their say about the projects and issues that matter most to them.

Representatives from Lossiemouth Community Development Trust, Business Association, Community Council and Laich of Moray Active Travel Routes will be present.

The GP Express: Health campaigners want dedicated Burghead to Lossiemouth bus route

Conversation