Beauly – Inverness route – Dunballoch to Brockie’s Corner section

Reported by Ged Church, with photos from Graeme Turner

The creation of a safe cycling/walking route between Inverness and Beauly has been a goal of HCC since its inception in 1996 . Yes that’s 28 years ago now! Since 2000 this project has been supported and taken forward by the local Community Trust now known as Aird Community Trust ( ACT ) The first major section was completed by 2003, i.e. the Inchmore to Easter Moniack path, creating a traffic free link between Inchmore and the Cabrich and Reelig minor roads. The finance for that section was raised by a Community Trust paths group supported by Highland Council. We had to wait until 2016 for the next section – Lovat Bridge to Dunballoch to be completed. This was provided by the Council who obtained specific Active Travel funding from central government.

Shared use path at dunballoch.  There is a bike propped agaist the crossing posts and a sign showing shared use.

Now, at last, the section from Dunballoch to the Kiltarlity road junction ( Brockie’s corner ) has been provided, being completed just before Christmas 2023. In between these successes have been many disappointments. When a roadside path is desired there are three main obstacles to overcome. The first is “ Is it possible or are there infra structure difficulties? “. The second is “ Is there finance available? ” . Thirdly “ Who owns the land and are they willing to enter into an agreement for a path?” This last section was initially held up by landowner difficulties. Then, when these were resolved, the finance was no longer available. However Highland Council took ownership of the project and obtained Central Govt. Active Travel funding to complete the latest section last year. 

Image shows a bike lent against a sign at the entrance to the new shared use path near brockies corner.

Many of you will have noticed that the East end of this section joins the A862 main road. This is unsatisfactory as it requires East bound cyclists to cross the road and cycle for 100m to the Cabrich road junction where they must then turn right onto the quiet Cabrich road. There is a design to allow for a crossing of the Kiltarlity road and a link on the south side to the Cabrich road and thus continue to Inchmore without having to cross the A862, but this part has been held up due to lack of landowner consent. We believe that Highland Council are working hard to resolve this situation. Meanwhile ACT members and local councillors are working to make sure this remains a high priority. We wish them success and thank the local councillors for their support for this much desired community link.