Hillhead secures grant funding for new cycle route

dsc_0187Hillhead Housing Association has been awarded funding to develop a cycle route along the south bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal in Kirkintilloch.

A total of 44 organisations including local authorities, housing associations, National Parks and Community Trusts are set to share funding of more than £15 million by active travel charity Sustrans Scotland for the creation of walking and cycling infrastructure in Scotland over the next year.

The route to be created by Hillhead, which will stretch from Tintock Tunnel in the east, to Banks Road, Hillhead in the west, will allow easy access to the National Cycle Network and help attract cyclists and walkers to the area.

The project will see close engagement with local residents, businesses and schools and the community has already been very enthusiastic with the proposals suggested, as it will help make local attractions such as the Campsie Fells more accessible.

Sustrans has provisionally awarded the project £307,330 if matched funding is secured.

Claire Taylor, chairperson from Hillhead Housing Association, said: “The canal forms an important part of our local heritage and environment. As such we are keen that access to it is maximised to its full potential.

“Creating this path along the south bank of this stretch of waterway will encourage local residents and visitors alike to take advantage of increased opportunities for walking and cycling in our local area.”

The 225 successful applications include bold initiatives to overcome significant barriers to pedestrians and cyclists, such as dangerous junctions and busy roads. Once completed, they will make it easier for people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.

And, as all projects are required to be match funded against the allocation from Sustrans – a further £15m will also be invested into active travel projects through the programme.

Humza Yousaf MSP, minister for transport and the islands, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to increasing active travel rates.

“Since 2010, more than £100m has been invested in the Community Links programme providing grant funding for over 700 cycling and walking projects.

“The applications demonstrate real innovation and enthusiasm to deliver improved and innovative environments for walking and cycling to take place in Scotland.”

Daisy Narayanan, deputy director, built environment at Sustrans Scotland, added: “The high quality of the applications to our Community Links programme, demonstrates the continued commitment from current and new partners to creating safe and accessible walking and cycling routes across the country.

“We have worked hard to carefully select those of the highest quality to fund and we look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the successful delivery of their projects.”

One of the other projects receiving Sustrans Scotland Community Links funding is a segregated cycle path which will connect Speirs Warf and the Forth and Clyde Glasgow National Cycle Network Route (Route 754) and the cycle routes at the east-end of Glasgow, through the Sighthill regeneration master plan.

The traffic-free path will improve the route from the future Mini Holland, Cowcaddens and the ‘Metal Petals’ underpass to Port Dundas ultimately to the east of the City Centre over the proposed new pedestrian and cycling bridge over the M8.

The project, which is being carried out in partnership with Glasgow City Council, forms part of the multi-million pound regeneration projects of Port Dundas by Glasgow City Council. This will see up to 600 new homes and new commercial spaces and aims to encourage people to cycle for more of their everyday journeys.

Sustrans has awarded the council a provisional grant of £25,145 for the project with up to £251,455 being granted upon provision of a programme of works and detailed designs.

The Accessible Arbroath proposal by Angus Council, will also receive funding through Community Links. The project, which has been awarded £50,000 will look to address the issue of the A92 (Burnside Drive) which currently runs through the town. The funding will enable the council to undertake community consultations, feasibility studies and provisional designs on how the impact of the A92 dual carriage way can be reduced.

The council will also look at how safe and clear walking and cycling routes can be introduced to the town to help encourage residents and visitors to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.

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