Skye to become a cyclist's paradise post-lockdown

Plans are underway to criss-cross the Isle of Skye with new cycling routes.

New cycle routes will soon be mapped out over Skye with hopes to bring back into use old roads and paths. PIC: Pixabay.
New cycle routes will soon be mapped out over Skye with hopes to bring back into use old roads and paths. PIC: Pixabay.

People will be encouraged to use bicycles to get aroud the island with the advent of the Trans Skye Cycle Trail which will connect communities and encourage visitors to leave their cars at home.

An architect has now been hired to map out new routes around the island, which will look to bring back to life old paths and disused roads.

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The project builds on two well used routes already in place from Broadford to Kyleakin and around the Edinbane area.

The project has been funded by the Scottish Government through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme.

Alistair Danter, Project Manager for SkyeConnect, the business organsation that promotes the island and which secured funding for the cycle trail, said: “This is a great opportunity to develop a network of safe routes that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike for generations.

“When we submitted the application, we could not have predicted the impact Covid-19 would have on our lives. These safe routes will be more important than ever in the new reality after lockdown.”

Mark Crowe of Skye Bike Shack has been recruited as a Project Officer on behalf of SkyeConnect.

He said: “Where possible the project will seek to reuse lengths of old road, quiet single-track roads and existing core path networks to enable recreational and commuting travel both within and between communities on Skye.”

Residents will be asked over the next few months about where they would like to see routes run.

Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects have been appointed to deliver a series of local consultations, as well as the surveying and planning of potential routes.

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Sjoerd Tel, Infrastructure Coordinator for Places for Everyone is looking forward to moving the Skye project forward onto the local consultation and planning stages. “Active travel is just as important for rural communities as it is for urban ones. The Trans Skye Cycle Trail project really demonstrates that. Sustrans are delighted to support SkyeConnect in their efforts to create a safe and accessible active travel network for residents and visitors on Skye.”

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