Sustrans

Tenders invited for new Midlothian road

A map showing the path of the new road

A new road linking Musselburgh with the new Shawfair community and Danderhall is set to reduce road traffic through Millerhill village by as much as 80% when it opens towards the end of this year.

Tenders are now being invited for the 0.5 km stretch of road, with construction planned to begin in April.

From the Musselburgh direction the new stretch of carriageway will veer slightly north from Old Craighall Road (B6415) just before Millerhill village and run broadly parallel until it reaches the roundabout on the new section of Millerhill Road (A6106).

When it opens, the new road will take all but local traffic away from Millerhill village, giving motorists and other road users swift access to Shawfair railway station, Newton Village, Danderhall and Sheriffhall Park and Ride.

Nick Waugh, director of Shawfair LLP, said: “This is a crucial element of our plans to smoothly integrate Shawfair with the surrounding communities. It is important to us that, as more people move here, we ensure there is a well-planned network of roads, pavements and paths to make it easy for everyone to access Shawfair and the nearby areas.”

This month also sees the completion of a new cycling and walking route. Sustrans Scotland has extended an existing path that currently begins at Roslin. It follows the former Bilston Glen branch rail line through Loanhead, Straiton, Gilmerton, and Danderhall, connecting to the eastern side of Shawfair.

The three kilometre extension was delivered by Sustrans Scotland with the City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and support from contractors RJ McLeod.

Funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans Scotland’s National Cycle Network development fund, it is hoped the new path will encourage residents and visitors to explore the area by foot and bike.

It is the aspiration of Midlothian Council and Sustrans that, in the longer term, the off-road multi-user path can be extended within Shawfair to connect with National Cycle Network routes 1 and 76; and with Queen Margaret University.

In a related move, Midlothian Council has held initial discussions with Shawfair LLP regarding a proposal to construct a linking path to connect the Kaimes area of Danderhall with the newly extended path. If design agreement can be reached, it is hoped the path can be constructed in 2018/19.

Plans approved to create Scotland’s answer to New York’s ‘High Line’

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

Ambitious plans to create a new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line at the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal have taken another step forward with the granting of planning consent for the project.

Scottish Canals and its partners are currently fundraising for the development of the route, which will transform a 120-year-old disused railway bridge at Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire into a fully accessible linear park and pathway. This new route, the latest stage of a £3.2 million project to breathe new life into the area, will form a direct link between the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath and the National Cycle Network route towards Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Helena Huws, design and development manager at Scottish Canals, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and the local community to breathe new life into Bowling Harbour, investing more than £3.2m in the area. The transformation of the area’s iconic railway bridge into an innovative new parkway overlooking the canal and the River Clyde is the next step in that story and we’re delighted that the project has received planning consent.

“Our recent win at the Scottish Government’s Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning was a fantastic accolade for the masterplan we’ve helped shape with the local community. We look forward to building on that success to bring further investment, employment opportunities and vibrancy to Bowling.”

A 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour - the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal - has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

A 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour – the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal – has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

The community-led transformation of the area is being undertaken by Scottish Canals in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council with support from the Coastal Communities Fund, Sustrans Scotland, and Historic Environment Scotland. Over the past three years, the project has refurbished the arches of the area’s decommissioned railway bridge, transforming them into commercial units and bringing new businesses, activity, vibrancy and economic benefits to the canalside community. The project was recently recognised at the Scottish Government’s Awards for Quality in Planning, taking home the prize for place-based regeneration.

Dave Keane, community links manager at Sustrans Scotland, said: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Scottish Canals for further regeneration in Bowling.

“The project has great potential to further attract people to the area, whilst connecting the corridor as a more direct and enjoyable traffic free route. We hope this will encourage people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.”

Bowling Harbour’s viaduct swing bridge was constructed in 1896 to carry the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway over the Forth & Clyde Canal. After the railway was abandoned in 1960, the bridge fell into disrepair. Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.

A short summary video of the transformation of Bowling Harbour so far and a look at its future

The masterplan for the area was shaped by the award-winning Bowling Basin Charrette – a collaborative design programme which saw the local community work with other stakeholders, agencies and industry experts to develop a shared plan for its future. The village is identified by West Dunbartonshire Council as a key regeneration and development priority.

Bowling, which sits on the northern bank of the Firth of Clyde and near the western terminus of the ancient Antonine Wall, was a major transport hub during the Industrial Revolution and was vital to the success of the River Clyde, the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway.

Works commence on Glasgow active travel project

Albert AvenUE and Victoria Road 2Transport minister Humza Yousaf has launched initial works on a Glasgow City Council project which will deliver the first of its kind travel infrastructure in Scotland.

The South City Way (SCW) was the council’s winning design to the 2016 Community Links PLUS (CLPLUS) competition run by Sustrans Scotland.

Having impressed the judging panel with its bold and high quality design, the SCW will deliver a 3km segregated cycle and pedestrian route from Queen’s Park in Glasgow’s Southside to Stockwell Street in the heart of the Merchant City.

Local business owner, Shoaib Shafaatulla, deputy director of Sustrans Scotland, Daisy Narayanan, and Glasgow City Council’s convenor for sustainability and carbon reduction, Anna Richardson, joined Mr Yousaf to celebrate ground breaking activity.

In addition to the creation of world class active travel infrastructure in a densely populated area of Glasgow, the SCW will deliver a host of community, health and business benefits through its place-making approach.

Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted to join partners and local businesses in launching the SCW. Glasgow City Council has demonstrated real vision through its commitment to develop this major active travel route from the south side to the city centre.

“The expert panel who evaluated the 2016 bid was incredibly impressed with the high level of design and innovation shown by the SCW project. Whether you live, travel or work in Glasgow, this infrastructure will allow generations of people to better and easier enjoy the benefits of greener and healthier modes of transport.

“The Scottish Government’s Active Nation initiative is designed to encourage more of us to make everyday and leisure journeys sustainably – on foot and by bike. To achieve this vision, we are doubling our investment in active travel, from £40 to £80 million next year, demonstrating our commitment to make our towns and cities more walking and cycling friendly.”

Albert Avenue and Victoria Road 1Funded by the Scottish Government and run by Sustrans Scotland, the design competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.

Granted £3.25m of funding from the Scottish Government with Glasgow City Council match funding the investment, the SCW is expected to be complete in late 2018. On completion, journey times between Queen’s Park and the city centre are estimated to take 30 minutes on foot and 12 minutes by bike.

The first phase of works on Albert Avenue and Albert Road in the city’s Southside will see the sections of these streets that adjoin to Victoria Road transformed into attractive and pedestrianised public areas with cycle racks and green space.

Sustrans Scotland, deputy director, Daisy Narayan said: “Glasgow City Council’s SCW shows real ambition and vision towards improving conditions for people who choose to walk or cycle along a major commuter route, while also connecting a densely populated area with the city centre.

“Once completed, the South City Way will improve travel choices and accessibility for residents and visitors. It will also reduce congestion, improve air quality, enable easier use of public transport, and create places where people want to socialise, shop and spend time in.

“Our hope is for the SCW to become a leading example of how places that integrate people moving by foot, bike or public transport lead to stronger local economies and healthier people than places designed around vehicles.”

In addition to creating a segregated route between Queen’s Park and the city centre, central to the SCW’s vision is the redevelopment of Victoria Road as a place for sustainable walking, cycling, bus and rail travel.

Delivering such sustainable infrastructure will support smaller retailers in the area, create healthier communities and deliver safer, more attractive streets. Works on Victoria Road will commence in early 2018.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Today marks the start of a fantastic and very exciting project that’s going to bring huge improvements to the area and the people who live here. There’s been extensive engagement with local communities, groups and businesses from day one and this will continue throughout the project.

“We want to see more people cycling and walking, and the right infrastructure is key in ensuring these options are safe, enjoyable and sustainable. Increasing the number of everyday journeys by bike brings benefits both to individuals and our city.”

Ground breaking activity comes after the recent announcement of the 2017 CLPLUS competition results that revealed all five finalist projects will be granted up to 50% of the project cost to deliver its proposed active travel design.

Glasgow City Council again was a deserved winner with its Woodside Mini Holland bid, alongside entries from Stirling Council, Highland Council and two projects from City of Edinburgh Council. These four councils will share over £22.5m in match funding.

New York-inspired High Line path planned as new Forth & Clyde Canal link

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

A new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line could be set for the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal following the restoration of an iconic 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire, according to Scottish Canals.

Bowling Harbour’s viaduct swing bridge was constructed in 1896 to carry the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway over the Forth & Clyde Canal. After the railway was abandoned in 1960, the bridge fell into disrepair. Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.

The latest stage of a £3.2 million transformation of the area, the completion of the bridge, together with the recent refurbishment of the bridge’s railway arches into commercial units, has ensured the structure will continue to play an important role in the area for years to come.

The transformational work at Bowling Harbour, undertaken in partnership with the local community, has brought new businesses, activity, vibrancy and economic benefits to the canal and celebrated Bowling’s important role in Scotland’s industrial past.

The 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour - the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal - has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

The 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour – the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal – has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

Helena Huws, design and development manager at Scottish Canals, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and the local community to breathe new life into Bowling Harbour, investing more than £3.2m in the area. The restoration of the area’s iconic railway bridge to its former glory is the next step in that story and we’re delighted to see the project completed.

“Now we’re looking to deliver the next stages of the masterplan we’ve helped shape with the local community – bringing further investment, employment opportunities and vibrancy to Bowling, and developing a fantastic tourism and leisure destination fitting of the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal.”

Fundraising is now underway for the next stage of development of the viaduct structure – transforming the former railway line into a fully accessible linear park and pathway inspired by New York City’s iconic High Line. This new route will form a direct link between the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath and the National Cycle Network route towards Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Detailed proposals have been submitted for planning approval and feature new viewpoints which will offer visitors the chance to enjoy the vistas over the canal and River Clyde.

Tom Bishop, community links manager at Sustrans Scotland, said: “This is an exciting project to work in partnership with Scottish Canals for further regeneration in Bowling.

“It has great potential to further attract cyclists and visitors, whilst connecting the corridor as a more direct and enjoyable traffic free route. We hope this will encourage people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.”

A short summary video of the transformation of Bowling Harbour so far and a look at its future

The masterplan for the area was shaped by the award-winning Bowling Basin Charrette – a collaborative design programme which saw the local community work with other stakeholders, agencies and industry experts to develop a shared plan for its future. The village is identified by West Dunbartonshire Council as a key regeneration and development priority.

Councillor Iain McLaren, West Dunbartonshire Council’s convener of infrastructure, regeneration & economic development, said: “The Bowling swing bridge is of real historical importance and it is wonderful to see it restored to its former glory as part of this ambitious project. The work already carried out Bowling Harbour has made it a destination well worth visiting and the plans for further regeneration of the area are extremely exciting.”

Bowling, which sits on the northern bank of the Firth of Clyde and near the western terminus of the ancient Antonine Wall, was a major transport hub during the Industrial Revolution and was vital to the success of the River Clyde, the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway.

Michael Easson, grants manager at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We are really pleased to see the successful completion of this first phase of work at Bowling Harbour and hope the restoration of the swing bridge is a catalyst for a wider scheme to conserve and repair the surrounding area.”

Four local authorities to share multi-million pound travel infrastructure funding

Meadows to George Street – Streets for PeopleFive ambitious active travel proposals from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness have been successful in the final judging of the Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links PLUS (CLPLUS) competition.

Run by Sustrans and funded by the Scottish Government, the competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.

After an intensive three-stage process all five shortlisted projects will be awarded a grant of up to 50% of the total project costs, with the grants totalling £22,540,360, from Transport Scotland funds, delivered through Sustrans Scotland.

Each project is expected to begin development within the next two months, with Inverness City Active Travel Network (Highland Council) forecast to be complete by Summer 2020; Walk, Cycle, Live (Stirling Council) and Woodside Mini-Holland (Glasgow City Council) by Summer 2021. Both Meadows to George Street and the West Edinburgh Active Travel Network (Edinburgh City Council) are forecast to be complete by Summer 2022.

The five projects set to be funded are:

Glasgow City Council:  Woodside Mini-Holland

Woodside Mini-Holland

Woodside Mini-Holland

This year’s entry from Glasgow City Council, Woodside Mini-Holland, takes inspiration from transport infrastructure in the Netherlands and proposes to deliver an exemplar cycle friendly neighbourhood in the Woodside community.

Part of the project will include a segregated cycle route along St George’s Road from Charing Cross to Possil Road and will connect to the Sauchiehall Street “Avenue” cycleway that is currently being delivered through the Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework.

The proposal also includes the expansion of the cycle network into the city centre, Great Western Road, Maryhill, Garscube Road and the Forth and Clyde Canal in a bid to encourage cycling as the favoured commuter option.

In addition to the health and wellbeing benefits that the extensive cycle network brings to the surrounding area, the creation of Woodside Mini-Holland will strengthen local economies and increase road safety.

Pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities at St George’s Cross Subway station will also undergo major redesign in order to improve accessibility to the station and surrounding streets.

The City of Edinburgh Council: The West Edinburgh Active Travel Network

The West Edinburgh Active Travel Network

The West Edinburgh Active Travel Network

The West Edinburgh Active Travel Network’ proposes to transform the west of Edinburgh into a high quality Dutch-inspired cycle and pedestrian friendly neighbourhood.

Included in plans is the creation of an attractive, direct and convenient cycling and walking route from the Roseburn area to the major business district of Edinburgh Park. The route will connect popular locations within a cycleable distance of 1-5km.

Destinations along the route include the Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot Watt campuses, the Gyle shopping centre and business park, new housing developments at East Craigs and Cammo, and existing communities Stenhouse, Broomhouse, Saughton, Sighthill and Wester Hailes.

This major overhaul will see one of the most car-dominated parts of Edinburgh transformed into an active travel hotspot.

The City of Edinburgh Council:  Meadows to George Street – Streets for People

Meadows to George Street – Streets for People

Meadows to George Street – Streets for People

The ‘Meadows to George Street – Streets for People’ project proposes to create a direct cycle  link between The Meadows and George Street, as well as the Old and New towns of the city centre along Hanover Street, The Mound, Bank Street, North Bank Street, George IV Bridge and Forrest Road.

The ‘Meadows to George Street’ project will provide a major redesign for walking and cycling in the city, creating safe, coherent and attractive routes through the city centre.

The Highland Council: Inverness City Active Travel Network

Inverness City Active Travel Network

Inverness City Active Travel Network

The ambitious proposal plans to strengthen the Inverness City Active Travel Network that connects all of the city’s communities with the centre, as well as developing seamless and segregated cycle-friendly routes along Millburn Road, Academy Street and the Raigmore Interchange.

The plans propose a major overhaul of Millburn Road with the removal of one lane of general traffic in place of a fully segregated cycle path. A westbound bus lane and footpath will also be introduced, transforming the area into a less congested and pedestrian friendly area. A signalised junction will also become a feature of Millburn Road with separate signals for pedestrians and cyclists.

Academy Street will also undergo a similar transformation with the implementation of a one-way cycle track with buffer zones off the main carriageway behind the parking and loading areas.

The city wide active travel network also plans to create a ramp from the Raigmore Interchange to the Golden Bridge that would see construction of a cycle and pedestrian friendly route to the Inverness Campus.

Stirling Council: Walk, Cycle, Live

Walk, Cycle, Live

Walk, Cycle, Live

The City Boulevard and Cowane Street project compromises of two key active travel routes that will allow Stirling to operate as a sustainable and vibrant city which is attractive to businesses, residents and visitors.

The focal point of the first route, City Boulevard, is to improve the environment and streetscape along the A811 from Dumbarton Road, along Albert Place and Upper Craigs.  Included in this will be the introduction of more generously sized pedestrian routes, creating a boulevard feel and connecting the city centre to the City Park.

Route two proposes to improve the environment and streetscape along Goosecroft Road, Cowane Street and onward to Stirling University. Currently the B8052 forms one of the key routes into Stirling City Centre and priorities vehicles. The project aims to make the road accessible to all users and redesign road crossings in order to improve accessibility. The integrated network would act as a direct link between Stirling City Centre and Stirling Bridge and continue onwards to the communities of Raploch, Cornton, Causewayhead and Bridge of Allan.

Minister for transport Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted to announce this morning that all five Community Links PLUS shortlisted projects have been successful in securing funding from the Scottish Government.

“The expert panel who evaluated the bids were impressed by the local authorities’ high level of design and innovation. Each bid is entirely worthy of receiving support today and I want to thank the panel, Sustrans and each local authority who took the time to get involved in the award.

“Our ambitious Active Nation initiative is designed to encourage many more of us to make everyday and leisure journeys sustainably – on foot and by bike. To achieve this vision, we are doubling our investment in active travel, from £40 to £80m each year, demonstrating our commitment to make our towns and cities more walking and cycling friendly.

“Through the Community Links PLUS award, people will be able to enjoy new active travel routes and whether it is for commuting or leisure, more people across Scotland will be able to enjoy the benefits of greener and healthier modes of transport.”

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Climate Week is an opportunity to get more people talking about and taking action on climate change, and I am pleased to be supporting the Community Links Plus active travel project, enabling more people to walk and cycle more often.

“We all have a role to play in taking action on climate change, and this is a fantastic example of how people can reduce their own carbon footprint through using greener modes of travel.”

Sustrans Scotland deputy director for built environment, Daisy Narayanan, said: “Funding all five final projects is a bold step towards a healthier, more sustainable and vibrant Scotland which designs places around the needs of people over vehicular access.

“The Community Links PLUS proposals were so impressive this year that the panel felt strongly that all the five final proposals should become a reality. We thank the Minster for Transport and the Islands for taking the unprecedented step of committing to fund each of the five finalists.

“With the backing of Transport Scotland, Sustrans will now work in partnership with all four local authorities to turn their pioneering visions into reality. These five exemplar projects will demonstrate the wide ranging benefits that well designed places bring, such as boosting footfall for local business, improving the health of local people and creating safer environments that are more pleasant to live in and move through.” 

More than £15m funding for walking and cycling infrastructure in Scotland

Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf

More than £15 million in grant funding has been awarded by active travel charity Sustrans Scotland for the creation of walking and cycling infrastructure in Scotland over the next year.

A total of 44 organisations including, local authorities, housing associations, National Parks and Community Trusts are set to be awarded grants, from the Sustrans Scotland administered Community Links programme, which is funded by Transport Scotland.

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 £15 million 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 said: “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 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 multimillion 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.

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

The route, which will stretch from Tintock Tunnel in the east, to Banks Road, Hillhead in the west, and 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 added: “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.”

Five projects progress to final stage of active travel competition

The shortlisted entry for Woodside Mini-Holland in Glasgo

The shortlisted entry for Woodside Mini-Holland in Glasgow

Designs for segregated cycle path schemes in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness have made it to the final stage of a competition for millions of pounds of funding.

Run by Sustrans Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government, the Community Links PLUS competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.

Each of the five finalists will now receive additional funding of up to £40,000 to complete detailed proposals and present to a cross-sector expert panel, chaired by Transport Scotland chief executive, Roy Brannen.

The winning design will be announced in late summer 2017.

Community Links PLUS aims to demonstrate that designing places around the needs of people delivers a wide range of benefits, including boosting local economies, smaller retailers, healthier communities and safer, more attractive streets.

The five finalist projects are:

Glasgow City Council (Woodside Mini-Holland) – comprising a strategic segregated cycle route along St George’s Road linking the Forth and Clyde Canal, regeneration work at Port Dundas and the Sighthill regeneration site with the City Centre and particularly the Sauchiehall Street Avenue project.

The plan features the creation of a ‘Dutch style’ people focussed area using a combination of infrastructure, including segregated cycleways  with further  improvements to support pedestrianisation and economic regeneration, to increase the attractiveness of the area for all who live and work there.

West Edinburgh Active Travel Network- EdinburghThe City of Edinburgh Council (The West Edinburgh Active Travel Network) – an attractive, direct and convenient cycling and walking route from the west edge of Edinburgh city centre at Roseburn to major business districts. A ‘mini Holland’ approach will be applied, evolving a car-dominated development into a people-friendly environment.

This project will transform one of Scotland’s most significant business areas (Edinburgh Park and the Gyle, comprising 1.8km2) into a high-quality European-style pedestrian and cycle friendly neighbourhood

The City of Edinburgh Council (Meadows to George Street – streets for people) – an ambition to transform Forrest Road – George IV Bridge – The Mound – and Hanover St to streets where walking, cycling and public space take top priority. The design features a combination of segregated cycleways and shared road space with key innovations such as a ‘Trondheim-style’ bike lift to assist with those struggling to cycle up The Mound.

Millburn Road

Millburn Road

The Highland Council (Inverness City Active Travel Network) – a plan to strengthen the existing Inverness City Active Travel Network with improvements to the east-west corridor including cycle-friendly routes in Millburn Rd; Academy Street and The Raigmore Interchange.

At the heart of Highland Council’s proposal is an active city fit for the future; creating a Dutch style infrastructure, to encourage walking and more cyclists, promoting health, reducing congestion, creating and enlivening streets and public spaces. The project forms a major part of Highland Council’s plans for a sustainable future and to attract and retain a young, economically active population.

Stirling Council (City Boulevard & Cowane Street) – the creation of an integrated, attractive and high-quality walking and cycling network in Stirling along Cowane Street which provides the direct corridor between Stirling City Centre and Stirling Bridge, with onward routes to the large communities of Raploch, Cornton, Causewayhead, Bridge of Allan and the University of Stirling.

Plans also include the creation of a pedestrian and cycle-friendly streetscape from King’s Park into and through Stirling City Centre along Dumbarton Road/Albert Place, Wellgreen and Upper Craigs.

Last year’s winning entry, Glasgow City Council’s ‘South City Way’, impressed the panel with its exemplary design and place making potential. On completion in 2018, the South City Way will run from Glasgow’s Southside in to the heart of the Merchant City.

Announced as the winner in August 2016, The ‘South City Way’ was awarded £3,250,000 of funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans, with the investment match-funded by Glasgow City Council.

Humza Yousaf, minister for transport and the islands, said: “I would like to congratulate the five projects that have made it through to the final round of the Community Links PLUS design competition.

“I am pleased to see that local authorities have again put forward very ambitious projects which will help to create a step change in conditions for walking, cycling and place making that communities can all benefit from.

“These kinds of place making projects are part of our long-term vision for active travel and also our recently published Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, which reiterates our commitment to maintain current levels of funding for the remainder of this Parliament.”

Daisy Narayanan, deputy director for built environment at Sustrans Scotland, added: “We are absolutely delighted with the extremely high quality of entries to our Community Links PLUS design competition. These proposals are exemplary in their understanding of the need to improve our streets for the well-being of everyone.

“They bode well for the future of Scotland. The Scottish Government, and in particular, Humza Yousaf MSP, the Minister for Transport and Islands, has demonstrated real vision in supporting this competition.

“Critically, local authorities across Scotland have shown they are keen to enable access for pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities. The country is embracing the health and economic benefits of a modal shift in how we design our streets and roads.” 

West Dunbartonshire Council approves £7m regeneration investment

Improvement plans for Glasgow Road

Improvement plans for Glasgow Road

Four major regeneration projects prioritised by West Dunbartonshire residents are to receive a £7 million investment from the local authority.

Plans to revitalise Glasgow Road in Clydebank, regenerate Bowling Basin, create a Dumbarton waterfront walkway and establish two public squares in Balloch will share the cash injection after councillors voted to approve the investment at West Dunbartonshire Council’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee yesterday.

The four projects were identified during local charrette processes, in which residents had their say on local priorities via drop-in information sessions and workshops with schools and community groups. Each will now receive a share of a £7m sum from the council’s Regeneration Capital Fund, as well as attracting funding from several external sources.

The plans for the A814 at Glasgow Road will see crossings installed at Clydebank Town Hall and Queens Quay to improve pedestrian links. This project will receive £2.3m from the Regeneration Capital Fund and has already secured £2m in Sustrans funding.

Proposals for Bowling Basin have been developed by Scottish Canals and will see the council invest £2m of Regeneration Capital Fund cash. This will be recouped as the project becomes profitable through the sale of houses and commercial opportunities.

At Dumbarton waterfront £1.5m will be set aside to develop a walkway and cycle path from the town centre to the castle, with an additional £1m expected to be sourced from housing developers and other commercial partners.

A £1.2m sum will also be allocated to the creation of two public squares next to the train station in Balloch; a charrette suggestion intended to improve the use of public space and enhance the impression of the village to visiting tourists. An extra £400,000 is expected to come from other sources.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, the council’s convener for infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “As a council we are committed to providing innovative opportunities for economic development and improving employability, and all four of these projects tie in with ambitious objectives for growth. The fact that they have been earmarked by residents as priorities shows the level of support for them locally, and the approval of Regeneration Capital Funding for these projects is a big step first towards their delivery.”

Councillor David McBride, depute convener, added: “We were delighted with the public’s response to our local charrettes, so it is fantastic to now be progressing projects that the community identified as important to the local area. The involvement of our residents, local businesses and council partners will be invaluable going forward, and I hope as many people as possible with engage with the council on these ambitious projects.”

£4.3m project to transform Clydebank’s town centre links

Glasgow Road

Plans for Glasgow Road

A key project to improve traffic and pedestrian links between Clydebank town centre and Queens Quay has taken a huge step forward after West Dunbartonshire Council secured £2 million funding.

The work will transform a key section of Glasgow Road to improve the connections between the existing town centre, its shops and public transport, with the new developments planned for the former John Brown’s shipyard.

Sustrans Scotland has committed £2m to the project, which will include removing the central reservation, realignment of key junctions and raised platforms to pavement level at key points to encourage pedestrian crossings.

These significant improvements will create a more attractive route from the town centre to Queens Quay in order to encourage cycling and walking.

Work on the redevelopment of the former John Brown’s shipyard will begin next month, with remediation work in preparation for creating the road infrastructure and public spaces on the waterfront getting under way.

The council has committed £15.62m to the Queens Quay project to unlock the potential of the site for housing, leisure and retail opportunities.

Council leader Martin Rooney said: “It is exciting to the see the progress which is now being made to make the Queens Quay development a reality. This site is so important for our redevelopment plans and has the potential to be a flagship for the whole of Scotland and put our area on the map. This funding from Sustrans Scotland will allow us to move forward with the plans for improving the links with the town centre and ensure Queens Quay becomes a bustling community hub. By creating improved access routes to Queens Quay and making it easier for people to move about the town will be so beneficial for Clydebank.”

The redevelopment of Glasgow Road connecting Queens Quay with the town was one of the priority projects identified by the community through the Clydebank charrette held in the town last year.

A community information event will be held once the proposed design for the Glasgow Road redevelopment has been fully developed to allow residents to comment on the plans.

David McBride, vice convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “The design charrette in Clydebank was a huge success and I’m delighted that we are now delivering what the community asked for. It was important to develop a community-led vision for the future of the town and this project to transform Glasgow Road was highlighted as being a major priority. As well as creating better links with the Queens Quay development it will offer improved walking and cycling routes which will benefit our residents.”

Further funding of £44,000 has also been provided through Sustrans Scotland‘s Community Links Programme to improve the cycling route from the Forth and Clyde Canal to Queens Quay.

The masterplan for the development of Queens Quay was approved by councillors in March and it is expected to take more than 10 years to fully develop the 23 hectare site.

Expert judging panel to decide on visionary transport projects

Sustrans PictureA group of Scotland’s foremost transport and planning experts has been selected to assess bids for groundbreaking community-led active travels schemes across the country.

Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, welcomed the announcement and said he was confident the panel would select a blueprint that would improve cycling and walking infrastructure in Scotland for years to come.

The judges, who will be chaired by Roy Brannen, chief executive of Transport Scotland, will meet on July 12th 2016 to decide upon a winner from five game-changing projects aimed at enabling more walking and cycling as part of the Community Links PLUS design competition developed by Sustrans Scotland. The shortlisted finalists include two submissions from Glasgow and one each from Edinburgh, East Dunbartonshire and Inverness.

The winning project will receive substantial funding from Transport Scotland to deliver an exemplary design that demonstrates the many benefits that well-designed cycling and walking infrastructure can bring, by making places safer, easier to use, healthier, cleaner, more attractive and successful.

This year’s multi-disciplinary panel of experts are:

  1. Mr Roy Brannen, chief executive, Transport Scotland
  2. Dr Dave Caesar, national clinical advisor to the chief medical officer, NHS Scotland
  3. Ms Katy Hunter, consultant, BRE Scotland, representing the 2050 Climate Group
  4. Mr Riccardo Marini, director, Gehl Architects
  5. Ms Sara Thiam, regional director, Institution of Civil Engineers
  6. Mr Stuart Watson, senior architect, Planning and Architecture Division, The Scottish Government.

Humza Yousaf said: “Community Links PLUS is a new and innovative competition which will take cycling and walking infrastructure delivery to the next level.  It is great to see this initiative has been led into the final stages by a panel of experts looking at these exemplary projects.

“I am confident those awarded funding will provide the blueprint for others to follow in years to come, ensuring the people of Scotland have better and smarter choices to make for their everyday travel.”

Community Links PLUS attracted twenty-five applications from twenty-four local authorities across Scotland. The entries, initially narrowed down to ten pioneering projects, sought to re-balance Scotland’s streets in favour of walking and cycling.

On January 29 the five finalists were selected by a cross-sector panel comprising: Neil Langhorn and Karen Furey – Transport Scotland; Stuart Watson – Scottish Government; John Howie – NHS Health Scotland; Keith Irving – Cycling Scotland; Stuart Hay – Living Streets; Colin Howden – Transform Scotland; and Ian Findlay – Paths for All.

John Lauder, national director of Sustrans Scotland said: “Community Links PLUS has sought big, bold and innovative ideas that support the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland vision that by 2020, 10 per cent of everyday journeys in Scotland will be made by bike. These five entries are all of the highest quality and represent bold visions to allow people to choose to walk and cycle more easily for every day trips.

“The Scottish Government and local authorities are rightly prioritising walking and cycling for their many benefits, not least to people’s health, air pollution, traffic congestion and public life.  Like other Northern European countries Scotland is aiming to offer people better facilities that enable more active and less sedentary lifestyles.”