A world record-breaking cyclist is encouraging people to experience the new Aberdeen bypass from a unique perspective.
Mark Beaumont, who recently smashed the circumnavigation record by cycling 18,000 miles in 78 days and 14 hours, is backing the GoNorthEast Road Festival (GNE) taking place next weekend.
The free event will see a section of the long-awaited route opened up to more than 1,000 cyclists over the weekend of September 8 and 9.
Along with the GNE Cycle Experience, visitors will also get to experience the history of travel in the north-east with an outdoor exhibition from Grampian Transport Museum, as well as enjoying street performers and arts and crafts stalls.
The free event will be located on the new road in the River Dee valley at Milltimber on the boundary between Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Mark said: “The GoNorthEast Road Festival is a great opportunity for the local community to get together and celebrate this amazing infrastructure project which is going to hugely improve journeys for people in the north-east.
“I’m very pleased to show my support for this brilliant event which will bring the community together and is an opportunity for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
“The AWPR is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and I have been very aware of its progress over the years.
“This project will change the lives of people who live in the north-east and help improve air quality for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Derick Murray, director of Nestrans, said: “We believe that the AWPR is a major contributor towards a more sustainable transport strategy for the north-east and we’ve been a long-term promoter of the project.
“The AWPR will help free up Anderson Drive and the city centre to enable smoother, faster and more reliable bus services and access to Park and Ride sites.
“From an environmental standpoint, nose-to-tail traffic creates much more pollution, whereas free-flowing traffic generates lower carbon emissions, improving our air quality in and around the city.”
People of all ages and abilities can take part in Borrow a Bike throughout the weekend, which will involve 200 bicycles, including electric ones.
Safety gear will be offered to participants to travel their choice of distance along a closed 4km loop on the road.
There is also an opportunity for up to 1,500 cyclists to register to cycle an 18km closed-road loop of the new road on the morning of September 9.
For safety and security reasons, guests are required to access the festival site using the free shuttle-bus service provided by transport partner Stagecoach.
The service will operate from two locations at Union Terrace and Kingswells Park and Ride.
Further shuttle buses will be available from Craibstone for cyclists who have completed the GNE Cycle Experience and wish to visit the festival on the Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Organisers are asking cyclists to pre-book their preferred travel times to ensure demand is spread across the full weekend.
Those who choose not to book their journeys in advance will be allocated a shuttle on a first-come-first-served basis and may have to wait for a bus which has capacity.
More information can be found at bit.ly/2whAmxx