A new £372,000 pedestrian and cycle route linking Kintore and Blackburn is expected to be approved by councillors.
Aberdeenshire Council has been providing new facilities along the A96 corridor for cyclists on a phased basis.
Phase one began in 2016 with a shared use path linking Kintore to the town’s business park, while phase two works have recently been completed linking Kintore with Inverurie.
That route is already proving a hit with pedestrians, with an average of 150 daily users recorded during October.
Now the local authority is seeking a decision on a favoured option for phase three works to provide a shared use path between Kintore and Blackburn.
In a paper to the Garioch Area Committee which meets tomorrow (Tuesday, November 13), infrastructure services director Stephen Archer says the route would essentially provide a facility for cyclists wishing to commute onwards to Aberdeen.
Discussions are currently ongoing with Aberdeen City Council with a view to the creation of a connection from the city to Blackburn.
Mr Archer will report: “The proposal to develop the phase three works was included on the Procurement Work Plan which was approved at the Infrastructure Services Committee of March 15, 2018.
“A successful grant application was subsequently made to the Sustrans Community Links Programme and a 100% funding commitment has been made by Sustrans for the project.”
A feasibility study was undertaken to identify four potential routes, with option two running adjacent to and north of the A96 and south via the A96 underpass being favoured by officers.
Mr Archer continues: “While the report does not make a definitive recommendation on which route to take forward, on the basis of cost, implementation and socio-economic impact, option two is regarded as being the overall best value option.
“It is therefore requested that option two is now taken forward for detailed design to create a design and tender package before the end of the current financial year that would allow the council to approach funding partners for construction funding for future years.”
He will also indicate that while the third option of using the old turnpike road would perhaps not fulfil the requirements for a commuting route, it could have some value as a recreational resource to the council.
He will ask that councillors consider safeguarding this alignment when considering any future development proposals in this area which could support future delivery.