Should walkers and cyclistsshareroutes?
The walking charity, Perth
Area Living Streets welcomes Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust’s consultation regarding a new active travel route between Luncarty and Stanley.
The route is proposed to be shared by walkers and wheelers.
This consultation raises important questions. Is the route primarily intended for commuting or leisure?
If for commuting, will it have lighting? Will it be gritted through winter?
A shared path assumes this is good for both walkers and cyclists but, actually, is it? Are their needs the same?
The infrastructure of progressive cycling nations would suggest not.
They try to separate walkers and cyclists where possible.
There is already a core path between Luncarty and Stanley. Councils are legally obliged “to assert, protect and keep open and free from obstruction or encroachment any route, waterway or other means by which access rights may reasonably be exercised.”
Unfortunately, the core path here does not exist on the ground as the route is not passable because of fencing.
Possibly, (though puzzlingly) it never has been. The council said it has had few complaints about the route’s impassability “probably because most local people know about the long term aspirations and negotiations”.
However, we think there have probably been few complaints because few people know there is supposed to be a core path here.
Core path maps can be found on the council’s website. Were this core path to be made passable there could be a separate walking route, better suited to the needs of walkers as well as a new cycle route along one of the routes proposed by PKCT.
Felicity Graham and Roger Humphry
Co-convenors, Perth Area Living