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Petitioning Transport Scotland

Build a safe and parallel, traffic free, NMU path, the length of the new dualled A9 from Perth to Inverness

NMU - Non Motorised User (A path for use by all except for cars and lorries etc)

We like to think of it as a Tri - Carriageway - two carriageways for traffic and the third one for non motorised users alongside.

It has come to our attention that Transport Scotland do not actually intend to build a a safe and parallel, traffic free, NMU path, the length of the new dualled A9 from Perth to Inverness. This is quite distressing because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Scottish Government to do the right thing. If it is built it will be something we can all be proud of for generations.

Following a meeting of the initial A9 NMU Forum in Perth on Tuesday 26th of May it became clear that almost unanimously all NMU user groups want the same things from the new A9 so I decided to start this petition.

It will be used to link up communities for NUM users like Carrbridge to Aviemore and will be a safe and good surface without excessive gradiets etc so suitable for all levels of cyclists as well as walkers, equestrians and disabled buggy users. It will be ideal for electric bicycles too.

With along distance safe route between two major Scottish cities there is a whole opportunity to build up an tourism industry around it with a guide book and stopping off places as well as the opportunity to promote it for charity events - but to do this it needs to be very safe and motorised traffic free.

The NMU path where possible should be set back from the new 70 mph carriageway a safe distance and not the proposed 2.5m - this is to ensure NMU user safety as well as a good user experience - if for any reason it has to be that close for whatever reason a suitable barrier high enough to prevent NMU users entering the carriageway needs to be provided for NMU protection.

Part of the intention is to have NMU users make use of the current National Cycle Route "NCN 7" provided by Sustrans - however most NMU users know that this is not traffic free its entire length and when using sections of the old A9 where public traffic use continues there is very often dangerously fast local traffic and some "rat runs" to avoid congestion on the new A9 and it is not controlled by speed cameras so it puts many NMU users off ever using it.

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-7

We would also like to see when the A9 is dualled as many crossing points maintained as possible by either underpasses or bridges. These are detailed in many audits done my various NUM user groups and the well known British Horse Society Audit with up to 69 to 72 crossing points kis one example of this. Proper parking places or lay byes with islands separating them from the carriageway for safety that will allow overnight parking of HGV's etc - Enhanced parking places at strategic viewpoints and some sort of roadside toilet provision at places like the Slochd and Drummochter Summits. Lay-byes strategically located to suit acces to the hills and walks etc alongside the length of the A9 in preference to just siting them every 2.5 kms.

More information on the work here:

http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/a9-dualling-perth-inverness

In addition the provision of decent NMU path fits in exactly with the the Scottish Governments "Active Scotland" initiative to get people living healthier lifestyles by getting them out of doors and taking exercise and a full length NMU path just ticks all those boxes.

http://www.activescotland.org.uk/

Local authorities and the National Park along the length of the A9 are also developing similar "active" strategies and it should alos be part of Transport Scotland's design brief and strategy for the A9 Dualling programme.

http://cairngorms.co.uk/park-authority/our-services/consultations/active-cairngorms 

In the old days of non-motorised travel the A9 was known as "The Great North Road" - we could call it that again and make it a famous national route again that people will want to do for their own satisfaction or for charity raising missions etc - we could even run special events with a good new NMU to encourage use - for instance "The Great North Road Annual Challenge" - the ideas are endless on how use can be encouraged via sponsored rides, walks etc - we could even do a guide book with alln the information to enjoy the trip with details of transportation links too and you would not have to do it all at once you could do it in sections with good transport links - and it lonks up with other long distance routes like the Rob Roy Way, East Highland Way, Great Glen Way and soon the Speyside Way too :-)

Thank you for signing and please share this petition

In addition you can write direct to the following people too by email or conventional mail:

Chief Roads Engineer for the A9 Project at Transport Scotland Ms. Jo Blewett : info@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk

Scottish Government Transport Minister Mr Keith Brown MSP: Keith.Brown.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

Ruaridh Ormiston - Newtonmore Riding Centre

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