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Ross-shire core paths at Knockfarrel and Muir of Ord benefit from HITRANS boost

By Hector MacKenzie

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ROSS-SHIRE paths have benefitted from some tender loving care with the help of welcome funding.

The Outdoor Access team at Highland Council has recently completed eight small-scale projects to improve active travel on core paths.

The funding of £30,000 came from HITRANS (the Highlands & Islands Transport Partnership) Path Improvement Fund.


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Included amongst the routes benefitting from the boost were:

Knockfarrel to Strathpeffer, Ross & Cromarty - clear gorse bushes and replace gate

Muir of Ord, Ross and Cromarty - old railway line- drainage and surfacing work.

Before and after photos showing work at Muir of Ord along the old railway line.
Before and after photos showing work at Muir of Ord along the old railway line.
Before and after photos showing work at Muir of Ord along the old railway line.
Before and after photos showing work at Muir of Ord along the old railway line.

Chair of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee and HITRANS board member Ken Gowans said: “The core paths all over the Highlands are used every day by thousands of people. Whilst most are for recreational use, a large number also connect people to work, school, shops, transport and other services.

“The core path network varies in standard but often only needs some sections of maintenance rather than full construction. Our Access Officers identified eight core paths geographically spread across the Highland linking to services that needed small-scale improvement works.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and HITRANS for providing the funding. I’m sure the improvements will be appreciated by everyone using the routes.”

The projects range from Thurso to Fort William and from Nairn to Broadford.

The largest single project of £5500 was spent at Borve near Portree. Here, vegetation was cleared and drainage improved so the old road can now be used as a cycleway parallel to the busy road to Uig. The work used local contractor Skye Conservation Ltd who specialise in doing path construction work.

Other projects include the link path between Knockfarrel village and Strathpeffer, the old railway line east of Muir of Ord, the approach to the Invershin bridge and at Culloden.

HITRANS were keen to help fund this aspect of active travel. HITRANS Active Travel project manager, Vikki Trelfer, said: “Hitrans were really pleased to support The Highland Council on these projects. The improvement of these paths for everyday use makes it easier and comfortable to walk, cycle or wheel, which is essential to try to reduce car dependency.”

Other paths assisted:

Invershin to Culrain, Sutherland - widen and surface path

Culloden, Inverness- roadside footway on B9006, clearing overhanging vegetation

Nairn – Whinnieknowe Lane- drainage & surfacing work

Borve, Skye- vegetation clearance and drainage work

Broadford- re-surfacing and revetment repairs

Thurso, Caithness- path resurfacing on river path.

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