Active travel bridge study launched to explore improved Banff and Macduff links

Aberdeenshire Council has commissioned a study to explore options for a new active travel bridge crossing the River Deveron between Banff and Macduff.

The study is being funded and supported by Nestrans, the regional transport partnership for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

The ‘Banff and Macduff Active Travel Bridge Study’ will build on previous work undertaken and reflects the desire for greater resilience in the vital link between Banff and Macduff.

An ultimate objective of the study by consultants AECOM is to provide sufficient information to allow Aberdeenshire Council to make a decision in respect to the location of a new active travel connection between the two towns and understand in greater detail how such a link would operate over its lifetime.  This work would provide the basis for bids to external funding bodies.

Among the study’s key aims is to provide active and sustainable travel opportunities between Banff and Macduff, improving local accessibility and connectivity, helping to improve health and reduce emissions and enhancing a historic social connection between two communities

It will also improve the transport options available to those living and/or working in the communities of Banff and Macduff by making active travel a safe and viable alternative to motorised travel, encouraging a shift from car-based to active forms of transport.

There will be a number of consultation opportunities which will provide stakeholders including residents with the opportunity to engage with the project team and provide feedback on the key issues and opportunities associated with a new active travel bridge.

Comments on any aspect of the study will be welcomed and encouraged by the study team as the work progresses, with all engagement activity being fed directly into the study recommendations which will be made available later this year.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, also vice-chair of Nestrans Board, said: “This is a very important study which will directly engage with both current and potential users and community representatives to develop and design options which meet the needs of everyone.

“We are very much aiming to improve connectivity between Banff and Macduff for the wider benefit of both coastal communities.”

ISC vice-chair and Banff councillor John Cox, also a Nestrans Board member, added: “It is important to stress that this study is not about the existing Banff Bridge – it’s about creating an entirely new crossing which we would seek to build with external funding.

“The creation of such a crossing would provide a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy healthy active travel between Banff and Macduff for years to come.”