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Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Scottish Hill Tracks Route 207

Should you have a copy of Scotways "Scottish Hill Tracks" you will find a succinct description of this route. It doesn't take up much space in the book, but it is probably one of the finest low level walks in the Cairngorms National Park. A historic walk too, as this follows one of General Wades military roads to the huge barracks at Ruthven. It is used by walkers (myself included) and many equestrians, especially long distance pony trekkers, as it gives an easy, scenic and peaceful route away from the hurly burly of the A9.

Clearly this is an important economic asset to the tourist industry in this part of the Spey Valley, an historic right of way for some 300 years and something to be cherished. The enlightened law on public access is something that Scotland is rightly proud of, and, as it brings the tourist pound to the farthest flung areas of the countryside, one might expect it to be enshrined in everything that the government undertakes.

Not according to the myopic Transport for Scotland.

They have decided that the public interest is best served by building a dual carriageway across the only feasible crossing point on the A9. I doubt the people whose businesses serve the equestrians, cyclists and walkers would share that view. It's a crossing that requires a little care now, on a single carriageway. How it's likely to be hopping over the Armco on the central reservation with 70-80mph traffic on both sides I don't know, but the words 'hazardous' and 'possibly fatal' come to mind. And I won't have half a dozen horses to ferry across like some users.

The whole thing seems to have come about by an administrative cock up compounded by a flawed consultation and an ostrich attitude to the error being pointed out.

The light red highligher shows the line of the original Wade Road, the mauve highlighter three of the routes approaching this cossing point, and the big orange arrow the current crossing point on the single carriageway to the track to Etteridge where the Wade road is rejoined.

My attention was drawn to this debacle by a posting on the TGO Message Board by Ruaridh Ormiston, who has organised a petition to protest and hopefully change minds. A simple underpass will be a drop in in the ocean costwise in a project of this scale.

You can read Ruaridh's case here, and sign the petition here. I urge you to do so.

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Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Well done Phil. Everyone should sign this petition.

The Planners should be forced to realise that cock-ups should be apologised for and then put right straight away without trying to bury the problem.

February 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

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