Calls to extend cycle path through to Brechin

Calls have been made to extend the recently upgraded cycle path from Montrose to Bridge of Dun by lengthening it to Brechin to help improve the safety of cyclists travelling along the A935 (writes Shona Beaton).

Having looked at Montrose’s cycle path network and having seen the desire for a similar network in Brechin, Wendy Coutts contacted Angus Council about the possibility to extend the cycle path along the A935 from Montrose which stops at the Bridge of Dun to be extended to Brechin but has been left disappointed after being informed there are no plans to upgrade the route.

“In the recent consultation surrounding the upgrade of the cycle route from Montrose to Bridge of Dun, it was expressed that the route should be extended to Brechin,” explained Wendy.

“I have been in contact with Graham Harris of Angus Council only to be told that there are no proposals for this to be done.

“There was no discussion or solutions offered basically denying Brechin cyclists the opportunity to join up with the No 1 cycle route safely.

“There have been vast amounts of money spent upgrading the road and admittedly where there have been upgrades there are paths. However these are about four miles from Brechin and the road is becoming faster with cyclists having to contend with lorries, tractors and inconsiderate drivers passing them.

“There has also been money spent to create a cycle path from North Water bridge to Montrose and I believe that this was funded by the National Lottery.

“Montrose has a fantastic network of cycle paths and Brechin is offered “Paths for all” which frankly are not suitable for all cyclists.

“Arbroath has a fabulous path from Arbroath to Dundee, yet we are denied a four-mile path which would join us up to one of the finest cycle routes, despite the Scottish Government having a commitment to increasing the number of people cycling.”

Confirming that there were no plans to create an extended cycle path, a spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The cycle route from Montrose to Bridge of Dun is currently being developed as part of a route around Montrose Basin and this will include some widening of the footpath to accommodate cyclists. There are currently no budget allocations or plans to extend the route to Brechin.

“The Brechin path network, as with the other burgh path networks, was developed mainly utilising existing paths. Where possible, paths were upgraded to improve access for a variety of users, including cyclists. This included improvements to the nature trail along the old railway, where the surface was improved and steps were replaced with ramps.

“There were also some newly built paths, such as the woodland path alongside the A935 to Brechin Castle Centre, which is suitable for use by cyclists.

“Other parts of the network follow a variety of routes such as farm tracks, which are often suitable for use by mountain bikers, but less so for family cycling or road bikes. There are currently no plans to upgrade any of these paths.”