News / Cycle path too expensive

THE IDEA to build a cycle and foot path between Lerwick and Scalloway has been stopped in its tracks by council officials due to its high cost.

The idea of building a path was mooted at the last meeting of Lerwick Community Council after it emerged that a pot of money from transport agency SUSTRANS worth £80 million was available for active travel projects across Scotland.

The cost for the six kilometre long path via the Black Gaet using some sections of the old road was calculated to be in the region of £6 million.

However, roads manager Dave Coupe said the council was not in a position to support the idea financially as match funding from the local authority would be required.

“The projects that SUSTRANS funds are required to provide 50 per cent match funding from another source, so in this case in the region of £3 million,” Coupe wrote in an e-mail to the community council.


“Having given this some thought I cannot see how a business case could be made for the council to make that level of capital investment in this proposal.

“Revenue funding for the maintenance and repairs of this significant length of footpath, not to mention the cost of providing winter maintenance, would also be a concern at this time when the council is still trying to identify efficiencies.”

Coupe added that the council’s road services had just £30,000 to invest in improving cycling and walking in Shetland, which would rise to £60,000 with SUSTRANS support.

In contrast, the footpath and cycle ways at the Clickimin cost around £1 million and its length was just over a kilometre.

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