A CLAIM that a new £229,000 cycle and footpath is “not fit for purpose” has divided local opinion before the route has been opened officially.
In last week’s Review, Montrose cyclist Robert Rodgers said the path’s unbound dust surface will “last about a year” before it becomes too rutted for most cyclists to use. He also said it will cause problems for walkers every time there is a heavy fall of rain.
He also said furrows are being formed already by tyres near the viaduct and even although the track is not yet fully open.
Another Review reader said this week that he backs Mr Rodgers’ comments and is also concerned about the path’s condition.
Nigel Blair said the stretch alongside the former aerodrome at Broomfield is of particular concern as it could be churned up by vehicles.
He said: “I’m a walker and a cyclist and have walked it a couple of times over the last couple of weeks and I’m concerned about the condition. I realise it’s not finished but I agree with the comments made last week.
“I did have an interesting conversation with a representative from Angus Council and in the original drawings it was to run along part of the old tarmac track. Now it’s on part of the old aerodrome, running parallel.
“This is potentially going to cause a lot of problems as that track is used by wheeled vehicles of all types which go on to the grass, so there will be criss-crossing from the hard surface across this new path to the grass and it’ll be gouged up quite deeply. The surface is already quite bumpy.
“Apparently it had been done on the advice of the engineer.”
Mr Blair also said he was surprised the plans could be adapted so quickly.
He added: “That was quite a change and it was done at the drop of a hat. It’s the wrong choice of material. There was a new path built from Monifieth to Broughty Ferry and it’s tarmac. My experience of this type of surface is that it’s fine in open countryside away from towns but this track is potentially going to be heavily used and it will get rutted. It’s an absolute mess.”
Angus Council has said path’s dust surface is considered suitable for rural cycle paths, is both more cost-effective and more aesthetically appropriate than a sealed bitumen surface.
The authority has also pointed out that its specification is consistent with that used on rural cycle paths across Scotland.