Many of you will be familiair with the "Whisky tourists" walking on the road between Port Ellen and the three distilleries, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. Needless to say that this can cause dangerous situations as the road is quite narrow in places and has limited visibility due to sharp bends and a few blind hills. The road is also used by heavy distillery traffic. This is one of the reasons why the Islay Community Access Group has proposed a plan for the "South Islay Distilleries path", a 5km shared use path linking Port Ellen and Lagavulin communities. The proposed path should be a of a good enough quality to not only benefit the walkers but also cyclists who want to cycle between Port Ellen and the distillery villages, for instance the schoolchildren.
Yesterday the Argyll and Bute Council issued a press release in which the South Islay Distilleries Path was specifically mentioned as being one of eight cycling and walking projects to get underway in Argyll and Bute. The press released also mentioned that "the total cost is Â£212,500 including Â£100,000 from Sustrans and Â£60,000 from local distilleries. Funding bids have been submitted for the remainder of the money." At the meeting of the Islay Community Access Group earlier this year, a large-scale map of the proposed Distilleries Path was shown to those attending. You can download the map here. I understand from Malcolm Ogilvie that the land owners have agreed with the proposed path so hopefully it will be realised in the next few years.