>> Friday, 3 July 2015
Anyone interested in improving travel options in five of Aberdeenshire’s largest towns has another chance to give their views from next week.
Aberdeenshire Council has extended a recent Integrated Travel Towns (ITTs) consultation which took place in Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie and Portlethen. Additional online consultation will take place until July 20 to allow anyone unable to attend previous events to give their opinions.
The events were well attended and there is clearly significant interest in the project amongst communities, so this should allow the project team to reach as many people as possible. The results of these consultation exercises will feed in to the development of a Masterplan focussing on local walking, cycling, and public transport infrastructure.
Consultation documents and the comments received at May’s engagement events can be viewed on the Council’s dedicated ITT webpages: http://bit.ly/AberdeenshireITT.
The consultative approach to the project follows the success of Peterhead as an award-winning Cycling Demonstration Town. This saw improved and promoted cycle links within the town, working with the local community to make it easier and more accessible for people to cycle to their destination.
The work saw the development of new routes, LED-lit paths, an annual bike ride, cycle mechanic training, bike recycling and area cycle maps, resulting in almost 300 additional weekly journeys made by bike.
With new funding from Smarter Choices Smarter Places (SCSP), Aberdeenshire Council plans to follow similar principles in the five towns and surrounding areas.
The ITT project will focus on long distance routes, links within the towns and the implementation of a marketing and promotional campaign.
It will be developed in partnership with schools and the local community with the aim of making all sustainable travel easier and more accessible.
With over a quarter of all carbon emissions attributable to transport, it is hoped that by supporting simple changes in travel behaviour there can be environmetal benefits.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Cllr David Aitchison said:
“To date we have been working hard to improve access to walking and cycling facilities, developing Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure and are promoting the benefits of active and sustainable travel. This new funding will help us to continue what we started.
“It’s important to recognise that there is longer term value locked into these projects in terms of supporting a healthier population, providing a cleaner environment, reducing carbon emissions and of course less congested town centres provide local economic benefits.”
Infrastructure Services Committee vice-chair, Cllr Stephen Smith, said:
“The service has a good track record from its work in Peterhead and this is an exciting opportunity to capitalise on this, and develop options to improve our future infrastructure.”
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