Ambitious plans to create a Tay Estuary cycle loop could become a reality as part of the Tay Cities Deal.
Campaigners, led by North East Fife Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie, recently called for the designated cycle path which would run from Newburgh to Dundee, across the Tay Bridge, to Perth then Abernethy before returning round to Newburgh.
Mr Rennie said the response had been entirely positive.
Perth and Kinross, Dundee City and Fife councils have all indicated that the scheme could form part of a wider Tay Adventure proposal funded through the £700 million Tay Cities Deal.
“I was delighted to get such a positive response,” Mr Rennie said.
“The idea is for some funding from the Tay Cities Deal could be allocated towards this venture, and the money would be used to improve the cycling and walking routes around the estuary.
“Whilst it is certainly very early days, and nothing is confirmed or certain, I am encouraged that the councils are working together towards the same aim, with a reasonable suggestion of where the necessary funds will come from.”
He said the benefits to locals and visitors would be long term and significant.
“Commuters would be offered a more agreeable choice to travel across the Tay, potentially incentivising people out of their cars,” he said.
“I would be confident that the cycle loop would attract tourists and visitors who enjoy scenery on their bicycles, and who might not have thought to come to this area otherwise.”
John Mitchell, sustainable transport and parking service manager at Fife Council, said all three local authorities were looking seriously at the plans.
“Perth and Kinross Council, Dundee Council and Fife Council are currently developing a Tay Adventure proposal as part of the Tay Cities Deal and this will include the improvement of cycling and walking routes around the estuary,” he said.
“The work to develop this proposal is at the early stages but it is an exciting opportunity.
“In relation to general cycling improvements in this area of Fife, council officers are currently in discussions with local communities including Newburgh, Wormit and routes toward Perth which will help contribute to the route.”