There is a crying need for a safe cycleway and walkway between Inverurie and Oldmeldrum. It has been talked about for years, but no action has resulted. A situation now exists that a significant number in the communities wish for this to come about. In the first instance it is the goodwill and co-operation of the local landowners to formulate solutions to justifiable concerns that they may have that is required. Their concerns are the community's concerns, as we will require to work as one to succeed. Their concerns must be fully addressed, once they are known and the best possible solutions considered and acted on. Involvement from able individuals and contributions from YOU is what will make this happen.
Where there is a will, there is usually a way ahead.
Please read on by clicking on the page tabs (top left) and do assist in whatever way you can. Do visit the Meldrum Path Group Facebook page and click on Like if you like it. https://www.facebook.com/meldrumpathgroup
R John Hughes
BSc Agricultural Science, BETA (Biodiversity and Environmental Trained Adviser), BASIS, FACTS, ALOAF (Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum elected member), BOOTS Body Of Oldmeldrum Hillwalkers member, NEMT North East Mountain Trust Committee member. Sustrans Ranger and finally CAAP-Central Aberdeenshire Access Panel.
JUNE 2011 - John Hughes Begins Investigations as a Making Meldrum Better volunteer, Sustrans ranger Volunteer and a founder member of the BOOTS Oldmeldrum Hillwalking Club who over the years had received many enquires about a safe walking route along parts of the old railway from Meldrum to Inverurie. Landowners along way informed of study being undertaken.
OCTOBER 2011 - Roads and Planning warned of no underpass or any overpass plans at the planned Inverurie Relief Road. With no underpass this will mean children on cycles on a core path route crossing a 50 mph road with motorists approaching blinded by a low setting sun for three months of the year or more. NOTE there are still no plans in place as yet for an underpass here.
NOVEMBER 2011 - Some Landowners on critical parts of the route given a copy of the initial findings booklet and copies made available at Meldrum and Inverurie Libraries. Mitchells and Meldrum Town hall Cafe.
FEBRUARY 2012 - Draft 1 of The Final Report (Information Pack) on the Meldrum Meg Way completed by John Hughes. A logo is in place.
Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum (ALOAF) Meeting at Meldrum acedemy to encourage formation of local path groups. Paths For All present.
MARCH 2012 - Initial discussions and setting up of the MELDRUM PATH GROUP (MPG).
MAY 2012 - Final Draft of Final Report (Information Pack) On Meldrum Meg Way completed by John Hughes. Made available to communities in Oldmeldrum and Inverurie libraries Autumn 2012. A download PDF copy of my own financed report is available below. Note that it is now five years old. Even so much of the information will remain as a valuable resource for years to come.
JUNE 2012- MPG Facebook page created to add to the Meldrum Meg Website.
SUMMER 2012 - Route corridor walked over by MPG, Paths For All, BOOTS and Sustrans to familiarise all with the problems on the ground.
OCTOBER 2013 - Funding obtained from Sustrans and Council to finance Viability report. Consultants Walking The Talk appointed to carry out the report. Poor weather ensues.
December 2012 to July 2013 Walking the Talk conferring with landowners and doing some archeological surveys and such like.
Through 2013 MPG - advised by the council access officers make progress in exploring funding for further work. The underpass situation Below Bourtie is investigated again with the roads department not willing to change plans to a safe underpass.
AUGUST 2013 - Final report submitted by Walking the Talk. Delayed by the long Winter and non co-operation by one lone landowner. P.S. Route viable but will require further conferring and planning with landowners.
Winter 2013 - Conferring with landowners underway.
Spring 2014 - Two landowners only on the Oldmeldrum end of the path hamper progress of finding a through route. Patrick Sleigh, West Fingask and Richard and Anna Stephen, Muirton of Barra. Let us hope that further negotiations with these landowners are more fruitful.
April/May 2014- As part of the council's integrated transport community links bid MPG applied for funds for the Oldmeldrum to Inverurie path.
The bid was successful and has secured a funding award of £100,000 for the design, specification and costing of the entire route for 2014 / 2015. There is a further £150,000 secured for the construction of the first phase from Inverurie.
This funding was secured from a central all-Scotland budget.
November 2014 - May 2015 - The Portstown Core Path route diversion OVER the Inverurie relief road is built. Concerns about possible future flooding levels caused by global warming causing climate change had the effect of the UNDERPASS option being dropped.
March 2015 - After writing to landowners along the likely route of the path from Inverurie train station to near Mill Of Bourtie, eventually a topographical survey gets underway. This is a first step in final planning and drafting of the route.
Summer 2015 - From the Uryside area in Inverurie through to Lethenty is likely to be developed first. Flooding concerns and expected delays to a new bridge over the Urie by the Garioch Indoor Bowling are concerns.
January 2016 - The floods came and sorted a few queries. Reaffirmed that a decision to route the path over the road was a good decision as flooding levels were right up to the old railtrack level. When in use the crossing will require to be made safe with a cycle and pedestrian crossing with traffic lights and an island. This is why the proposed 50mph limit was dropped to 40 for this section.
May 5th 2016 - After 5 years of working on the Meldrum Meg Safe Cycleway and Walkway. John Hughes Steps down from membership of the Meldrum path group creating an opening for new recruits to join the ranks of MPG. Any future involvement with the Meldrum Meg Safe Cycleway and Walkway will be on an independent consultant basis if available when called on.
June 2016 - As a Parting Gesture - John Hughes plans an across Scotland Charity Walk to help local paths and Ward 209, ARI.
A week into the walk John was finding difficulty bearing the weight of the backpack. In Glen Roy, 90 miles into his 270 mile route across Scotland; John slipped and fell crossing the river. A CT Scan in Fort WIlliam the next morning indicated letic lesions, most likely to be Myeloma due to medical history. This was confirmed in tests at ARI and John was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma IgA and put on chemotherapy. This was successful after 14 weeks of treatments in halting the cancer; a completely different cancer to the prostate cancer he was recovering from.
In remission now, myeloma is a relapsing - remitting cancer that can be treated but not cured. John is slowly walking more as time goes by and has been out on a few of the 2017 BOOTS Oldmedlrum Hillwalkers Walks during the year.