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Launchpad for Carbon Clever Highlands

9th November 2013

More than 100 delegates attended a conference at Inverness on Friday 8th November 2013 organised by The Highland Council to launch Carbon CLEVER Highlands – an ambitious project that has a target of a carbon neutral Inverness in a low carbon Highlands by 2025.

In urging delegates to play their part in committing time and funding towards the campaign, Council Leader Drew Hendry revealed Council plans to make Inverness a cycle city by creating a network of high quality cycle lanes across Inverness.

He said: “The journey begins today. By 2020 we want to increase from 3% to 10% the number of journeys made by bicycle in the Highlands. The Council will play its part in persuading more people to leave their cars at home for the daily commute by providing a city-wide network of safe cycling. Cycling as a method of getting around is growing faster in Inverness than just about anywhere in Scotland.”

The first stage of a comprehensive cycling network for Inverness will be the construction of a £338,000 cycling route along Millburn Road to link the Inverness Campus site at Beechwood with the city centre via the new Golden Bridge over the A 9.

The Council would be consulting with the public over other priority routes.

Councillor Hendry added: “By 2025, the network will connect up the whole city and allow safe cycling across a range of different routes, incorporating the existing network.”

He said the Carbon CLEVER initiative would be Highland-wide. He said: “Whilst other cities across Europe have adopted similar initiatives, they tend to have an almost entirely city-based focus. The fortunes of Inverness and the Highlands are so closely linked, that the visionary approach has been to adopt a composite target, where the objective for one will reinforce that of the other

“The targets being set will not be easy, but achieving them will have multiple benefits. For example: there will be less air pollution, we will be healthier, services will be more accessible, growth will be stimulated, we will have an improved infrastructure, and the Highlands will make a significant contribution to mitigate against climate change.”

The Council had made a commitment of £1million per year as seed funding through the Council’s capital programme.

It was not starting from scratch as it already had a strong background in reducing carbon emissions, through its carbon management plan and accreditation from the Carbon Trust.

He concluded by saying the conference was “just the start of the conversation” and he looked forward to other partners joining with the Council to make a real difference in the Highlands.

 

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