Public engagement events around Banff and Macduff active travel bridge options

Lucy JohnstonNews

From Aberdeenshire Council

The communities of Banff and Macduff are being encouraged to share their views on two design options for a new active travel bridge across the River Deveron.

Events are being held on Monday, September 25 at Deveron Community & Sports Centre, Banff from 1pm till 7pm and on Tuesday, September 26 at Macduff Community & Sports Centre from 11am till 5pm.

It will be the latest opportunity for members of the wider community to see the potential designs and to engage in the detail of the project at this stage.

Consultants Arcadis and Moxon have been involved in the Sustrans-funded design brief work for the proposed active travel bridge and will be on hand to provide information on the proposals and to answer questions.

Option A would involve construction of a bridge crossing the Deveron 10m north or downstream of the existing Banff Bridge and elevates the features of the existing bridge.

It would provide a vantage point to appreciate the historic John Smeaton-designed listed structure and would require little diversion from the existing routes due to its proximity to the road bridge.

Option B would see construction of a bridge crossing the river some 50m north/downstream of the existing road bridge. Again providing a clearer vantage point with view across the stunning Banff Bay.

Back in 2021, Aberdeenshire Council commissioned a study to explore options for a new crossing at the River Deveron between Banff and Macduff.

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

The new route may also improve the transport options available to those living and/or working in the two communities by encouraging a shift from car-based to more active forms of transport by enabling walking and cycling as travel alternatives.

As part of an earlier consultation exercise last year, the community was given the opportunity to access information about the four original proposals and provide views and feedback on the key issues and opportunities associated with a new active travel bridge.

Cllr Doreen Mair, chair of the council’s Banff and Buchan Area Committee, said: “This is very exciting news for the communities of Banff and Macduff who can input comments and contribute views on the options for the creation of a new crossing.  It will provide a much safer route for healthy active travel both for commuting and recreation through cycling or walking. This proposal is very much in-line with the council’s aim of giving those that are able more sustainable and pleasant travel choices and I look forward to the outcome of the consultation and further development of the project.”

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, added: “Through our previous public consultation and the excellent design work recently undertaken on our behalf by Arcadis and Moxon we now have two clearly defined proposals which we are now engaging on with our local communities. This project could have a very positive impact on local residents and businesses by increasing accessibility between Banff and Macduff and the facilities and services within each of them.”