Aberdeenshire Council introduces “Share Space” initiative to encourage active travel on rural roads

Lucy JohnstonNews

Aberdeenshire Council is launching a new campaign titled “Share Space” which aims to encourage active travel across Aberdeenshire and raise awareness for the presence of multiple modes of transport on rural routes.

In partnership with Nestrans, the project will create provisions for active travel on rural roads, allowing space for all modes of transport.

Signs approved by Transport Scotland will be installed along the routes to help implement the scheme and encourage motorists to make space for any pedestrians, cyclists, or horse riders who may be sharing the road.

The selected routes will take place on quiet, country roads, where traffic volumes and speeds are low enough to make active travel feel more attractive to road users.

Share Space will initially take place on a trial basis at the following three locations:

  1. Polinar Dam “loop,” Inverurie
  2. Woodhead of Fyvie to Gight and the Ythan Trail
  3. Fernie Brae Road, Cornhill, Banff

These routes also link to existing footpaths and cycling trails, making it easier for active travel users to access nearby town, villages, and nature spots.

Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The Share Space initiative is a positive step towards offering more active travel options across Aberdeenshire. The chosen routes were carefully selected from several options that already had a certain level of active travel potential, and we have installed signage along the routes to notify all road users of these changes.

“We anticipate Share Space will be well received by our communities and will make active travel more accessible for locals who would like to cut down on short vehicle trips.”

Chair of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald said, “Over the course of the pandemic and even now as restrictions ease, many of us walk and cycle more, and can feel the health and wellbeing benefits from doing so.

“There has been a real shift in active travel modes across the North East. Supporting people to keep making these positive travel choices, particularly to fit them into their daily lives, is so important. The Share Space pilot provides an exciting opportunity to help make our quieter roads attractive and safer spaces for walking and cycling.”