16 August 2023

Views sought on new active travel route linking Ellon, Foveran and Newburgh

Aberdeenshire Council is seeking community feedback on a proposed new active travel route linking Ellon, Foveran and Newburgh.

The aim of the project is to provide a safe route which will help increase accessibility between nearby settlements in the Formartine area and encourage a shift in travel choices to more walking and cycling.

It will form a key part of the longer distance route into Aberdeen, with works already having been delivered to improve access between Balmedie and Blackdog.

Back in 2017, consultants Arcadis were appointed to undertake a feasibility study on the potential to create a strategic cycle route between Ellon and Balmedie along the B9005 and the existing alignment of the A90, including a section between the A90 and Newburgh along the A975 or B9000.

They are now working on the feasibility design for the route and have created a virtual consultation room to seek the views and comments from communities as part of the process.

You can view the online portal and survey here:

Cllr Iain Taylor, chair of the council’s Formartine Area Committee, said: “This active route between the settlements of Ellon, Foveran and Newburgh would provide far better connectivity between these settlements as well as any new developments and create a route that encourages both commuting and recreational activity through cycling or walking.

“It will serve as a high quality and safe cycle/walking route which will undoubtedly be attractive to users and will also serve to help reduce carbon emissions and air pollution by enabling and encouraging a shift to alternatives to motor vehicle journeys which is very welcome news.”

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, added: “This innovative project could have a very positive impact on local residents and businesses by increasing accessibility between these settlements and the facilities and services within them.

“The aim of the project is to encourage a shift in travel choices to those that are more active and sustainable and that can only benefit people wanting to walk, cycle or wheel as part of everyday journeys for pleasure, work, exercise, shopping, all within a safe and attractive environment.”

Evidence from schemes already delivered by Aberdeenshire Council suggests that path such as these linking communities provide a safe space for young people to learn the skills necessary to cycle with confidence.

It has also been reported that traffic-free links such as these proposed provide travel options for those with no access to a car and can offer a degree of independence for those with limited mobility who would normally rely on transport being provided.

Aberdeenshire Council has a number of on-going and planned initiatives and projects to encourage and increase the use of more sustainable transport and remains firmly committed to fulfilling its duties relating to reducing carbon emissions from transport, creating opportunities for health improvement, and supporting measures to improves access between our settlements, reducing reliance on short car trips.

The council has already delivered routes between Inverurie and Kintore, the villages of Sauchen and Cluny and feasibility studies are also underway to create links between Kintore, Kemnay and Inverurie. Further south, options are being developed that would create an active travel link between Aberdeen and Portlethen and ultimately on to Stonehaven.

Work is also ongoing with Aberdeen City to support the delivery of an active travel route between Murcar and Balmedie, while the connecting infrastructure in Ellon is also well established with the ‘Boatie Tam’ pedestrian bridge linking the riverside path network to the town centre and the Formartine and Buchan Way.

With support from regional transport partners Nestrans, the council is also upgrading bridges along the Formartine and Buchan Way to help improve this popular route and has upgraded and created new routes in and around Ellon as part of its Integrated Travel Town initiative.