Hillhead secures Sustrans Scotland funding for new canal side cycle path
The Forth and Clyde Canal Project aims to provide high quality, sustainable, walking and cycling facilities along the canal side of the Forth and Clyde canal, in the town of Kirkintilloch.
Stretching from the Hillhead neighbourhood to the Tintock Tunnel, the scheme will enable walking and cycling for the Hillhead community supporting Hillhead Housing Association’s strategy for the area. This includes aims to improve the general environment for its housing and introduce wider community initiatives to its residents.
Moreover, the project also supports East Dunbartonshire Council’s active travel strategy which aims to increase the proportion of everyday journeys made for commuting or leisure purposes in the area. The council is also keen to deliver a more connected network of active travel routes and infrastructure, which incorporates environmental and design standards.
The funding from the Community Links programme at Sustrans Scotland will provide an opportunity to upgrade the canal side to improve transport links between Hillhead neighbourhood, to Kirkintilloch town centre and beyond.
Sustrans is the primary funder for both the feasibility study and the project itself and has provided vital support for the project facilitating community empowerment and engagement.
Marie Savage from Hillhead Housing Association said: “The process of applying for Community Links funding is simple, and Sustrans provide support every step of the way. It was an excellent opportunity for us to bring numerous benefits to the area through the project and we’d encourage similar organisations to apply as soon as possible. With the support of Sustrans we have carried out public consultations at various levels as local groups and residents are very much at the heart of the proposals, Sustrans continues to support us through this process.
“Ultimately, the project will see the canal side become a much more user friendly environment for the Hillhead community and will allow the area to become part of a successful existing network of cycle routes. Redundant, inaccessible space will be transformed.
“Further to this, by facilitating access to the National Cycle Network, the project will encourage visiting cyclists and walkers into the area which will ultimately be of benefit to the local economy.”