Sunday, May 26, 2013

Moray Coastal path - Nairn to Inverness - the missing link - still a long way from completion?

Gurnites may recall this article posted in January about the economic and other benefits that might arise if the “missing link” in the Moray Coastal path were to be installed between Nairn and Inverness.
The joint Community Council meeting back think instructed West CC to investigate and report back with details of how this might happen. From what was said and from information contained in documents released into the public domain last Wednesday night this observer would imagine that such a path will not be completed in the near future.  

Brian Stewart gave an update at last week’s meeting of the town’s three Community Councils, he told the meeting:

"The essential point, firstly: a plan does exist for the Coastal Path between Nairn and
Inverness. There are maps, there are diagrams, there’s a whole policy document. It exists. Now you might think that that is good news. Point 2 is that the Highland Council is responsible for implementing it, quote “as a priority”. In practical terms they have done nothing.
There is one piece of additional news (which is nothing to do with Highland Council) which is the new National Planning Framework 3 includes a proposal that SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) leads a project on long-distance paths and cycle routes and they should prioritise and ensure the delivery of the missing link. Because the bit between here and
Inverness is a missing link on the Moray Coastal Path which should join up with the Loch Ness walk and cycle way." 

Michael Green then added, “I will come back to the next joint meeting and update you as to exactly where we are with a map with what’s been agreed and what areas are outstanding.”

Liz contributed too. She said. “ We know exactly where the route is but the problem is that there is no funding attributed to it.”

Laurie also mentioned that it was a “long drawn out affair” and he suggested there were problems about the direction of the route at the
Inverness end.

We mentioned in the original article in January how Nairn might benefit from such a route. Serious students of this matter may wish to read the letter from West CC to the appropriate Highland Council official asking a number of questions and a copy of an e-mail reply from Stewart Eastaugh the Council’s Access officer for the Inverness and Nairn area. 

A copy of the Highland Council hopes to achieve this section of the Coastal Path can be found here on this webpage in the paragraph headed "Priority 1".

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