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Share Space pilot project aims to transform rural roads into more attractive pathways for active travel

By bellmannews / September 26, 2022
poster showing cyclist on country road

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Residents of Aberdeenshire are being encouraged to participate in a new pilot project which will seek to promote and encourage active travel and promote positive long-term behaviour changes.

The ‘Share Space – Rural Walking and Cycling Routes’ pilot follows on from a notable increase in the demand for space to walk and cycle in a safe and comfortable environment following the Covid pandemic.

It aims to transform rural minor country roads into more attractive pathways for all types of users.

As part of the initiative, residents are being asked to complete a short online survey open until October 31 at: https://engage.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/share-space-project-rural-walking-and-cycling-routes

Aberdeenshire has a widespread network of country roads where traffic volumes and speeds are considered to be low enough to enable these roads to be promoted to make cycling and walking feel more attractive.

Several local studies have already identified appropriate routes for the pilot scheme including the Polinar Dam ‘loop’ in Inverurie, the Woodhead of Fyvie to Gight route and the Ythan Trail and Fernie Brae Road in Cornhill, Banff.

Unlike other active travel projects in Aberdeenshire, this project focus is ‘on road’ and therefore does not separate those using active travel modes from motorised traffic.

By adding specific signage along these routes and without the need for any traffic calming measures, the project team expects to create better awareness and reduced speeds from motorised vehicles. Signage has been carefully designed to ensure that car users are advised to expect walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Ewan Wallace, Head of Environment and Sustainability at Aberdeenshire Council, explains: “The transformation of Aberdeenshire’s rural roads network into more pleasant routes for active travellers will significantly improve a community’s quality of life.

“The Share Space project should also tie up with other projects already being developed in these areas, with similar aspirations and objectives and will allow better connections to public footpaths and improve access between neighbouring villages and amenities.”