A preferred route for the extension of the Speyside Way Long Distance Route from Aviemore to Newtonmore has gone out to public consultation.
All those with an interest including landowners, farmers, community councils, local footpath groups, accommodation providers and people who enjoy the outdoors, are being encouraged to make their views on the preferred route known.
The week starting 13 December marks the start of the three month consultation and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) – on behalf of the Speyside Way Management Group – is making the consultation documents widely available.
The option favoured would extend the Speyside Way from its current terminus in Aviemore, following a route to the west side of the A9, skirting round Craigellachie and continuing along an area of moorland overlooking Loch Alvie. From here the route goes under the A9 to the Dalraddy Caravan Park and onto the existing Badenoch Way to Kincraig and thence towards Feshiebridge.
Thereafter the preferred route follows Forestry Commission tracks towards Insh where the Badenoch Way is rejoined, passing Invertromie and then following fields to Ruthven Farmhouse. There is then a short walk along the B970 to cross the River Spey, regaining a path towards Kingussie, with the final stretch utilising the existing Sustrans route which links Kingussie and Newtonmore.
Jim Strachan, Speyside Way Route Manager said: “We think that this is a good route and will provide users with a varied experience, maintaining contact with the River Spey and offering spectacular views over Loch Alvie and both the Craigellachie and Insh Marshes National Nature Reserves.”
Although this consultation exercise does not preclude consideration of alternative routes, the proposal to consult over a single preferred route follows months of research into the various options.
Kristin Scott, Senior Access Officer at the CNPA explained: “We studied 15 different route options and scored each one against a set of criteria which included the quality of the recreational experience, social and economic benefits, interference with existing land management practices and areas of environmental sensitivity. This consultation is based on the route which scored the highest in that process.
The consultation documents can be accessed at the following locations:
- Aviemore, Grantown-on-Spey, Newtonmore and Kingussie libraries.
- Aviemore and Kingussie Service Points.
- Kingussie and Newtonmore Post Offices.
- Newtonmore and Aviemore Tourist Information Centres.
- Kincraig Stores.
Alternatively, details of the consultation, together with maps, can be downloaded from the Speyside Way website, www.speysideway.org or copies can be sent out by post by contacting Catriona Campbell at the Park Authority on tel: 01479 873535 / e-mail email@example.com
All comments received will be taken into account in making decisions about the way ahead and a report on the consultation will be placed on the Speyside Way website in due course. In the interest of openness, and to help inform any further discussion over the line of the route, all contributions may be made publicly available unless otherwise indicated.
The closing date for responses is 25 March 2005.