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Speyside Way extension

5th December 2006

The board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has agreed to recommend to Scottish Natural Heritage that the old Wade Road between Aviemore and Dalraddy be used for the proposed extension to the Speyside Way and beyond Dalraddy it should follow the route supported by the Board at their meeting in September 2005.

There is widespread support for the extension of the Long Distance Route beyond its current terminus in Aviemore, to Newtonmore. A public consultation in late 2004 / early 2005 helped to identify a preferred route most of the way to Newtonmore. However, there were difficulties in determining the best way to go between Aviemore and Dalraddy. A further consultation on this particular section of the route took place during September and October this year, to try to resolve some of the outstanding issues and to ensure that all those affected had the opportunity to make further comments. Two options were put forward:

Aviemore to Dalraddy along the old Wade Road that runs through Kinrara Estate or,
Aviemore to Dalraddy along the north shore of Loch Alvie, close to the A9.
Speaking at the CNPA board meeting in Strathdon on Friday (1 December) Bob Grant, Senior Outdoor Access Officer explained: “We are very keen to see the Speyside Way extended and we are pleased to have been able to help move this project forward. In the last couple of months we have carried out a further consultation exercise and received very useful feedback about the issues involved – for example, the quality of the route, the potential for interpretation of the cultural and natural heritage, and the effects on privacy of nearby houses, on the commercial value of property, and on land management operations.

“Of the 45 responses that we received none favoured the Loch Alvie option while 21 respondents, including the two community councils, expressed a preference for the Wade Road option. There was also some support for an alternative route going through Rothiemurchus and Inshriach.”

Taking into account all of the issues raised at the meeting, the board concluded that the Wade Road option is the preferred route. The CNPA board also requested that access officers advise Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) of the support for an alternative route through Rothiemurchus and therefore further consideration of this option for the extension of the Speyside Way should be given while preparing the proposal for Ministers.

It is important to note that the CNPA’s role in the extension of the Speyside Way is purely advisory at this stage. A report will now be sent to SNH who has responsibility for proposing any route extension to Scottish Ministers. It is Ministers who will make the final decision.

This board paper can be accessed in full here.