Jan 29 2013 by Alison Lowson, Perthshire Advertiser
A bid to improve safety on out-of-the-way Big County roads is set to be ratified tomorrow.
Minor routes mainly in Kinross-shire, but also a few in Perthshire, are to be designated as ‘Green Routes’ in a bid to make them more attractive for cyclists and walkers.
Perth and Kinross Council has based its proposals on a similar scheme that has been successfully introduced on a number of rural routes in neighbouring Clackmannanshire, where speed limits have been lowered on a number of rural roads linking villages that were already being regularly used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Speed limits were lowered to 40mph or 30mph, and signage was introduced warning motorists that they were likely to encounter cyclists and pedestrians.
It was found that the signing of these routes had a positive impact, and that cycling and walking increased significantly.
In Perth and Kinross, it is proposed that 16 roads will be used as a ‘Green Routes’ pilot project. Each route has been assessed and current speed limits recorded.
The plan would see speed limits reduced to either 30mph or 40mph. According to PKC bosses, average speeds used by motorists on most of the earmarked routes are already well below the speed limit.
The proposed roads where Green Routes would be introduced are: the U246 Middle Balado; C494 between B9097 and A977 Balado; C494 between Powmill and B9097; U241 between A977 Drum and B9097; U222 between U238 and A977 at Drum; U238 between Crook of Devon and U222; U237 between A823 and Crook of Devon; A823 spur between A823 and A977; U223 between A997 and Gartwhinzean Feus; U215 and U216 between Blairingone, Vicars Bridge and A977; U213 between Blairingone and Easter Muirhead; U213 Easter Muirhead and Tethyknowe; C470 South Lochearnhead Road; C450 South Loch Rannoch Road; B846 North Loch Rannoch Road; and C484 Templehall to Kingoodie.
The proposals will be considered by members of PKC’s enterprise and infrastructure committee, whose vice-convener Joe Giacopazzi said yesterday: “This is a very positive move that could bring many benefits to the local communities linked by these Green Routes.
“As well as the health and environmental benefits, and infrastructure improvements, there are economic benefits that can be realised by providing a network of cycle and walker-friendly routes.
“Clackmannanshire has experienced an increase in visitor number since the introduction of their Green Routes, and we anticipate the same thing will happen in Perth and Kinross.