Shire towns to receive funds

Fraserburgh town centre.
Fraserburgh town centre.

Aberdeenshire Council is embarking on an ambitious project to improve walking, cycling and access to public transport in a number of its key settlements.

It follows success in securing funding of around £690,000 for the next two years from the sustainable transport charity SUSTRANS.

Work in Peterhead as part of the Cycle Demonstration Town (CDT) project will continue and hubs for walking, cycling and public transport will be created in Fraserburgh and a number of other towns under the ‘Integrated Travel Towns’ (ITTs) banner.

The project’s announcement follows on from a year of success in cycling for Aberdeenshire Council.

The Peterhead CDT project won an award at the 2013 Scottish Transport Awards and the council was awarded four stars in Cycling Scotland’s 2013 Cycling Assessment of Local Authority Performance, the joint highest mark in the country.

The ITTs will follow similar principles to the Peterhead CDT, with a focus on making all forms of sustainable travel easier and more accessible for everyone, providing a realistic alternative to car use.

Aberdeenshire Council recognises there are multiple benefits to be gained by promoting more sustainable travel, including: economic growth through tourism and leisure, an improved environment and better health, both through reduced pollution and increased levels of activity.

Chair of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “This is great news for Aberdeenshire – in the last year we have gained national recognition for the Peterhead Cycle Demonstration Town project and secured a four-star rating in the Cycling Assessment of Local Authority Performance.

“With this funding from SUSTRANS and support from our regional transport partners at Nestrans, we are now able to build on this good work, applying lessons learned to other towns, helping to further establish Aberdeenshire as a healthy and sustainable place to live.”