National cycle network to be completed thanks to extra £3.9m funding

A stretch of the Caledonia Way on the Caledonian Canal near Aberchaldy. Picture: TSPL
A stretch of the Caledonia Way on the Caledonian Canal near Aberchaldy. Picture: TSPL
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An extra £3.9 million has been announced to plug gaps on Scotland’s national cycle network.

The cash takes the total for 2018/19 to £6.9 million and will enable a long-distance route to be completed and the creation of a new route in the Stirling Council area.

The last two sections of the Caledonia Way between Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, and Inverness in the Highlands will be finished while a new route will be set up between Doune and Callander.

The extra money will also enable the Soldiers Bridge in Fort William in the Highlands to be completed and the upgrading of existing routes across central Scotland.

Currently, the national cycle network encompasses 2,307 miles of traffic-free routes, quiet rural roads and traffic-calmed urban streets, to making walking and cycling safer and easier.

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Announcing the cash boost from the Scottish Government Active Travel Fund, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Extra funding will support further development of the national cycle network and address current gaps on the route.

“This will help make Scotland even more attractive for our growing cycle tourism sector which is contributing to our economy, particularly in rural areas.”

He said it would also make active travel more appealing and help motivate people to leave their cars in favour of cycling or walking.

Sustrans Scotland deputy director Grace Martin said: “The national cycle network is vital for everyday journeys, leisure trips and tourism in Scotland.

“This additional funding will help create better connected communities and encourage people to walk and cycle more on the journeys they make every day.”

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