Contentious resurfacing of cycle path out for consultation

Tuesday August 8th 2023

NCN Route 196 Rosewell Auchendinny

Part of the section of National Cycle Network Route 196 between Rosewell and Auchendinny.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian Council wants to hear your views on proposals to resurface a section of National Cycle Network Route 196 between Rosewell and Auchendinny. They say what you tell them will influence the design of the resurfacing work and the materials used and also inform plans to close the path while the work takes place.

The council had previously planned to start the resurfacing work in early July but an outcry by users of the path, including horse riders and cyclists meant the work was stopped and a consultation agreed.

Councillors will consider the findings of the consultation before final decisions are approved.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for active travel, Councillor Dianne Alexander said: “The adjoining sections leading onwards to Bonnyrigg and Penicuik are already paved with a Tarmac surface and resurfacing the pathway will ensure continuity across the length of the route.

“As communities in Midlothian grow, there is an increasing need for safe, high-quality active travel routes linking local communities.

“Surrounding roads have high levels of vehicle traffic or steep gradients through Roslin Glen so the NCN 196 is a key link for active travel between Penicuik, Rosewell, and the rest of Midlothian.”

The council is proposing a 3m wide pathway with a bound surface to reduce difficulties encountered by wheeled users, and users with mobility difficulties– particularly in poor weather conditions. As well as the option of a 3m wide Tarmac path, the council is also asking for views on a split width 3m path suitable for all users, consisting of 2m width of Tarmac and 1m of alternative bound surface.

The project would also include improving drainage.

No new sections of pathway are being proposed and the work is not anticipated to alter the current boundary of the pathway corridor.

Work is likely to involve closing that section of path between Rosewell and Auchendinny for around six weeks, although this may be longer depending on the type of surface used.

Funded by Transport Scotland’s ‘Cycling, Walking, Safer Routes’ grant, the work aims to improve conditions for users including cyclists, walkers and those with assisted mobility devices.

This 3.5 kilometre section is the only part of the 17 kilometre Dalkeith to Penicuik cycle route without a sealed surface.

A short survey is available HERE on the council’s consultation website, Citizen Space, until 5 September.

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