In 2007 a feasibility study was completed by Moray Council and Sustrans to connect Lossiemouth High School to all its feeder primary schools by a cycle route. The project was undertaken, and by 2012, Burghead, Hopeman and Duffus were all connected by a dedicated traffic-free cycle path known as the Coastal Cycle Route. However, ten years on, the final, and possibly most important, link in the chain, the Hopeman to Lossiemouth section, is still missing.

As well as offering a safe and active way for children to travel to school, the completion of this route would offer more freedom of movement between Hopeman and Lossiemouth, connecting the residents of Covesea to their local supermarket, doctor’s surgery and other amenities by more than just a busy road. “There’s no bus service connecting Hopeman to Lossiemouth” says Janet Trythall, Covesea resident, “And the B9040 road is extremely unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. I have no option but to take my car for short trips into Lossiemouth, which is a perfectly cycleable distance from my home.”

Janet is part of a group working on instating the missing section of the route. The route is one of the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust’s top priorities following a survey completed in April 2015, which revealed a cycle path connecting Hopeman to Lossiemouth as the top Long Term Priority among Lossiemouth High School students, and second top among those completing the survey online.

The active travel route group attended the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust’s Information Evening at the Stotfield Hotel on Tuesday 18th of April, and launched a survey to help inform an upcoming funding bid. Early results from this survey indicate that 93.5% of the 46 people surveyed at the Information Evening would be more likely to run or cycle if there was a dedicated path, showing there is still great demand for this route to be completed. 65.2% of these people also indicated that they’d had a scary encounter with another road user on the B9040 (either as a motorist, a cyclist or a pedestrian).

Melanie Newbould, a keen cyclist and member of the group said “I lead rides for Belles on Bikes, a local ladies leisure cycling club, and we often visit the Aroma Café at Covesea, and even a short one mile cycle along the B9040 can be a terrifying experience! The path connecting Duffus to Burghead, however, is a much more pleasant cycling experience, and a great path for walkers, runners and skaters alike. It would be great to get the route extended to include Lossiemouth, which would give a traffic-free cycle option all the way from Burghead to Lhanbryde.”

The Hopeman to Lossiemouth Active Travel Route group are currently putting together a funding bid to get an updated feasibility study completed on the route, and are seeking more support from the public to secure this funding.

If you’d like to help inform this bid, then please complete the online survey. Further support is sought in particular from the communities who would benefit from the path being connected to Lossiemouth, including Hopeman, Duffus and RAF Lossiemouth.

Complete the survey here