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Transport / Study to look at possible cycle route between Scalloway and Tingwall

A FEASIBILITY study into a possible cycle route between Scalloway and Tingwall is set to be carried out.

It is taking precedence over a previously announced study on a possible route between Lerwick and Tingwall, on request of the Scalloway Community Development Company (SCDC).

Earlier this year SCDC opened its campsite at Asta and access to the facility is part of the thinking behind the change.

It would also factor in the increased use of the route through the Tingwall Valley by large groups of cruise ship passengers on bikes.

However, the study on a cycle link between Lerwick and Tingwall is still in line to take place in the future.

A number of active travel projects in line to proceed in Shetland due to Scottish Government funding which has been awarded to local transport partnership ZetTrans.

This government funding would be used for the Scalloway-Tingwall feasibility study.

One associated project which is still planned to go ahead is a concept design of a cycle route between Lerwick and Scalloway. A feasibility study has already been undertaken on this route.

At a meeting ZetTrans on Thursday, VisitScotland’s Steve Mathieson there have been issues with cyclists in large groups from cruise ships this year particularly in the Black Gaet and also around the Brig o’ Fitch.

He questioned why a study was being undertaken on Scalloway-Tingwall ahead of one between Lerwick and Tingwall.

But transport policy and projects officer Robina Barton confirmed it was the intention to still explore the Lerwick-Tingwall route, and said funding should be available for this.

She added that the £30,000 study on a Scalloway-Tingwall cycle route could inform work planned by SCDC in the next financial year.

Speaking about the prospect of a Scalloway-Lerwick cycle route, Barton said the south route to Scalloway was picked by consultants as the better option.

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But she said constructing a cycle route between the town and Scalloway would be big job.

“That will require significant funding, and it would not happen overnight,” Barton said.

The officer also suggested that using old roads can be taken into account when looking at possible cycle routes in Shetland.

Lerwick to Quarff was another route which could have potential, the meeting heard.

However, due to changes in land acquisition some active travel projects worth £200,000 are unable to proceed this financial year.

They are a shared use path in Burravoe (£150,000) and two small projects in Sandwick and Symbister.

A number of projects have been approved in their place, including improving the route to the North Roe and Sound schools.

There will also be bike shelters installed at a range of public places, from the Aith and Baltasound schools to Burra’s Meal Beach, Lerwick Town Hall and the town’s Commercial Street.

Barton told Thursday’s meeting that around 300 active travel recommendations have been drawn up from 16 ‘settlement audits’ across Shetland which have been carried out to date.

The intention is to develop a list of priorities from those 300 recommendations.

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