Cycle path gathers speed as plans are unveiled

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Plans to create a cycle path between Connel and Dunbeg are in motion as the project’s second consultation stage opens for public comment.

Detailed construction plans for the proposed path, known as an active travel link, have now been published online and, after consultation, a planning application will be submitted in the coming months.

The Dunstaffnage-based Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is leading this stage of the project, which is funded by the Scottish Government through the Sustrans Scotland Places for Everyone programme, and is now seeking comments on the designs.

The idea of the new route is to deliver a key commuter and community link to schools and workplaces, as well as connecting existing paths from Oban to Dunbeg and Connel to the north.

If it goes ahead, the active travel link could be used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The detailed designs have been drawn up following an extensive consultation period with the main stakeholders by consultants Ironside Farrar Ltd, building on the feasibility stage of the project carried out by consultants Arcadis.

Anyone wanting to view the plans should go to a dedicated webpage to have their say at www.sams.ac.uk/connel-dunbeg-consultation

The consultation will run until April 5.

SAMS compliance officer Ann MacKenzie said: ‘The detailed route plans in the public consultation show the preferred route in more detail and represent the most deliverable route currently agreed by the main stakeholders.

‘Ongoing discussions may result in the need to amend some aspects of the route and we would welcome views and opinions regarding these options. We had hoped that this would be a face-to-face event. However, due to current government advice, this has not been possible. A comment box is provided to allow you to give feedback to the design team or to show your support for the scheme.’

A feasibility study carried out in February 2020 identified a need for a cycle path, with many cyclists in the Lorn area expressing an interest in using the link for commuting, as well as recreation.