Ellon reaps benefits from transport cash

A riverside pathway is among  transport projects planned for Ellon.
A riverside pathway is among transport projects planned for Ellon.

Ambitious moves are under way to improve transport links in Ellon.

It is part of a major new drive to boost walking, cycling and access to public transport in Aberdeenshire.

The council secured £690,000 of funding for the next two years from the sustainable transport charity SUSTRANS.

Ellon will benefit from £245,000 of the funding, matched by the local authority and regional transport partnership NESTRANS, making a total of £490,000

The first Ellon project is a new foot and cycle path from the town centre, along the riverside to the Meadows Sports Centre.

Work has started along the Ythan, where a tarmac footpath has been laid. This will be extended to a three-metre wide path where possible.

The path will join a new pedestrian bridge to Ellon Academy and will become a route to get to and from the new community campus once it opens in August next year.

Future plans include investigating creating a link from Ellon to Tipperty as part of a long-term plan to link to Aberdeen, and the formation of a long-distance recreational route along the River Ythan to Fyvie.

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Links within Ellon to improve access to the Park and Ride and the Formartine and Buchan Way will also 
be investigated.

Cycle infrastructure is to be provided within the town including bike parking and lanes where feasible, the development of a walking and cycling map and 
route signage.

Ellon and District Councillor Richard Thomson welcomed the projects.

He said: “Ellon provides a fantastic setting for walking and cycling, so I’m very happy to see these improvements to our local networks and facilities getting underway.

“Apart from the obvious health and environmental benefits from having more people walking and cycling either for leisure or fitness, as the network expands there’ll be great opportunities for tourism 
development as well.”

Ellon Community Council supported the riverside path plan at their recent meeting.

Chairman Sandy McDougall said: “We doubt that it will be used that much by pupils accessing the new academy but we do think it will enhance Ellon and provide a good riverside walk fro residents and visitors alike.”

The aim is to involve local people in the projects as much as possible and council officials want to build on ward forums held last year to provide residents with opportunities to feed into feasibility studies.