The Scottish Government has unveiled plans to build miles more long-distance cycling routes in the country, from the Highlands and Islands to Dumfries & Galloway.
The “National Walking and Cycling Network”, based on Sustrans’ National Cycle Network, Scotland’s canals, and long-distance walking paths, is intended to attract more tourists and to encourage local people to enjoy the outdoors.
The plan, launched this week, envisages that the network will expand by 500 miles in the next five years. Gaps in existing routes will be filled, and a start made on several all-new routes.
The project will be led by Scottish Natural Heritage, together with Sustrans and Scottish Canals. John Lauder from Sustrans said:
“It is fantastic to think that the National Cycle Network will be extended even further as part of this National Long Distance Walking and Cycling Network and more people than ever before will have the opportunity to use it.”
SNH called it “a step change in the aspirations of the Scottish Government for a network of long distance paths and routes”.
Routes to be built in the next five years
- Brodick to Corrie, Arran (NCN 73): new 9km traffic-free route
- Gourock to Ardrossan, North Ayrshire (NCN 753): 25km of new coastal route
- Route avoiding Manor Powis roundabout, Stirling (NCN 76)
- Fill gaps in Stirling–Callander route (NCN 765): 5km of new route
- Start new Southern Upland Cycleway, initially from Portpatrick to Stranraer, envisaged as coast-to-coast route
- Newton Stewart to Cairnryan (NCN 73): 15km route adjacent to A75
- Dundee circular route
- Fill gaps in Gretna–Glasgow route (NCN 74): 20km of new traffic-free routes
- Fill gaps in Crieff–Lochearnhead route (NCN 775): railway path bypassing A85
- New Speyside Way Cycleway (NCN 79), based on the Speyside Way walking route
- Fill gaps in Fort William–Mallaig route bypassing A830
- New traffic-free Roslin to Peebles Cycleway, connecting with NCN 196 to Edinburgh