30 October 2020

Work commences on surfacing improvement to popular Deeside Way route

Work has commenced on the resurfacing of sections of the Deeside Way.

Nestrans was successful in applying for 100% of the £250,000 project cost from Sustrans Scotland to enable substantial improvements to be made to one of the region’s favourite walking and cycling routes.

The Deeside Way is a well-used cycling and walking route constructed on sections of the old Deeside railway line running from the centre of Aberdeen to Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park.

However, a significant increase in use and erosion caused by drainage issues – together with the impact felt by Storm Frank in 2016 - has seen a distinct deterioration of the path surface over the years.

The width of the path has also decreased significantly due to encroaching vegetation.

Aberdeenshire Council is now undertaking the improvements in three sections - from Cambus O’May to Ballater, Aboyne to Cambus O’May and from Milton of Crathes to Banchory.

The proposed works include removal of vegetation encroaching on the sides of the path, laying of crushed stone aggregate, stabilisation of path edges and some minor fencing works.

During the programme of improvements the path will remain open but there will be safety measures in place and the public is asked to adhere to all signage and guidance from on-site staff.

You should expect some disruption and you may have to wait for a safe moment to pass machinery.

Local councillor and chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, welcomed the initiative, saying: “These works will secure the quality of the route long-term and improve a tremendous asset which encourages active travel, a healthy lifestyle and provides a safe off-road route to school and will therefore increase social benefit.

“The Deeside Way has been proven to contribute to the local economy through tourism and improving the asset will benefit tourists, residents and businesses alike.”

Chair of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald, said: “I am delighted that this approach has been successful. The Deeside Way is a much-loved path with beautiful surroundings, and it is no surprise it has been well-used during the recent months.

“A combination of environmental factors has meant that the path’s width has been restricted in some areas and these works will help to regain that lost space. This not only allows for better physical distancing, but it enables the path to be safely accessed and enjoyed by all for years to come.”