Campaigners in call for cycle provision along A90

Councillor Paul Johnston and cyclist Gordon Milne, from Balmedie,  watch traffic on the busy A90.
Councillor Paul Johnston and cyclist Gordon Milne, from Balmedie, watch traffic on the busy A90.

Green campaigners are pressing for investment in cycle ways along the A90 between Aberdeen and Ellon.

They maintain there is a need for safe cycling routes as part of the Aberdeen bypass and Balmedie-Tipperty dualling projects.

Calls have been made by local Greens for investment in cycle ways on the A90 north of Aberdeen.

Campaigner Debra Storr said that as part of the project there had been talk of providing an adequate cycle route alongside the A90 into Aberdeen and out to Ellon.

However, she claimed there is nothing from either Transport Scotland or in Nestrans’ latest business plan that would signal any work.

Ms Storr said: “It is time to stop spending money asking people to walk and cycle more and to actually provide the infrastructure needed.

“There are hundreds of millions of pounds being spent on the AWPR and the Balmedie-Tipperty dualling. A tiny proportion of that would deliver a safe cycling route. Cycling into the city will get much worse along the A90 with the two grade-separated junctions at Balmedie and Blackdog being particular hazards.”

The call has been supported by Mid-Formartine Councillor Paul Johnston.

He said: “It is clear from Nestrans’ own monitoring report that their efforts over the past decade have been fruitless with an increase in cycling from 2% to 2.5% modal share in the City called a ‘notable achievement’.

“But as they do no monitoring themselves and rely on the local Cycle Forum, even these figures are doubtful.

“The more robust census result shows continued drops in people cycling to work with cycling less than 1% and falling. The current spend on promotion is clearly pointless without the infrastructure on the ground to match.”

A Nestrans spokesperson said: “Nestrans has recently approved an Active Travel Action Plan after consultation with stakeholders and communities.

“One of the strategic routes identified links from Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh and recognises that the Balmedie-Tipperty road enhancement project provides an opportunity to significantly improve the route for cyclists.

“The new dual carriageway will be built away from the existing route, leaving the old road for local traffic including cyclists.

“Discussions will be held with Transport Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council on the provision of cycling facilities both on the existing route of the A90 and in association with any road enhancement schemes.”

Meanwhile, a Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The AWPR project is an integral part of the Regional Transport Strategy for the North-east, which includes significant measures to improve cycling in the area.

“When complete, the A90 upgrade between Balmedie and Tipperty will provide cyclists with the opportunity to travel along quieter local roads which will run alongside the new dual carriageway. In addition, a new footpath/cycle route will be created using an existing underpass at Balmedie to provide a grade separated link for cyclists with access to the Belhelvie area to the west.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of transportation, Ewan Wallace, said: “The council is proud of its support for cycling throughout Aberdeenshire and a whole host of initiatives are currently underway to further promote it.

“In Ellon, £490,000 will be spent in the next two years improving a range of cycle routes both within the town and in the surrounding area.

“The council also maintains the very impressive Buchan and Formartine Way, which connects Dyce with Ellon and beyond.”