Inverness is well placed to establish itself as a cycling city, according to two senior councillors.
Provost Jimmy Gray, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Inverness City Committee, and Councillor Hamish Wood, the Council’s cycling champion from Inverness, believe the city can build on having one of the highest percentages of people cycling in Scotland and emerge as a showpiece destination for active travel.
They were speaking during national Bike Week at the launch of the Inverness Active Travel Audit, which identifies a proposed core network of active travel routes in the city and a prioritised action plan to help achieve its delivery.
Commissioned by HITRANS and The Highland Council, the audit examined the existing provision for walking and cycling in Inverness.
The main priority in this Action Plan is the development of an East Inverness Active Travel Corridor to help improve walking and cycling links between the City Centre, the new UHI Campus and other new developments in this area.
UHI has already committed to providing a new ‘green’ bridge over the A9 as part of the infrastructure improvements associated with the new Campus and The Highland Council secured funding to improve the links from this new bridge towards the city centre as part of a successful ERDF project application.
Provost Gray said: “The more attractive we can make Inverness for people to walk and cycle then we can build on this and make Inverness a national showcase for Active Travel. I’m sure many people will have decided to walk and cycle this week to try and avoid the impact of the Kessock Bridge roadworks and while it is not a suitable alternative for everybody, hopefully many will continue to take more journeys on foot or by bike in the future.”
Councillor Hamish Wood, who has been organising a series of cycling events across the area for National Bike Week said: “There is a real opportunity to promote Inverness as a cycling city. It will soon be a hub for three Sustrans routes which pass through the city bringing in thousands of pounds into the local economy every year. There are many great opportunities to walk and cycle in and around Inverness and hopefully people can take the opportunity to dust down their bikes to help support one of the events during National Bike Week or just enjoy the benefits of cycling in their local area.”
David Duthie, HITRANS Partnership Director, said: “There are great health, environmental, economic and often time benefits to be gained by leaving the car at home and walking and cycling instead, especially for shorter journeys which make up the vast majority of all the trips we make. The Inverness Active Travel Audit is one of a series of Active Travel Audits commissioned by HITRANS for each of the key regional centres across the Highlands and Islands and they have already proved successful in bringing in external investment into Active Travel infrastructure, and producing real community benefits as developments are delivered through the planning process.”
A copy of the Inverness Active Travel Audit is available here.
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