Opinions sought on active travel infrastructure in Abington, Douglas, Leadhills and Wanlockhead

Opinions sought on active travel infrastructure in Abington, Douglas, Leadhills and Wanlockhead

 A70 facing south Douglas
Katharine Johnston

A consultation, seeking the views of those who travel to, from, in and around Abington, Douglas, Leadhills and Wanlockhead, is taking place as part of an ambitious feasibility study to improve active travel infrastructure in those areas.

Residents, visitors, employees, businesses and other interested parties are encouraged to take part in the Make Your Way - Key Links consultation either online or offline before Monday 14 December.

A digital consultation room has been created to take the place of a regular drop-in consultation, in-keeping with the current COVID-19 guidelines and can be accessed at www.ironsidefarrar.com/keylinks/event.html.

Paper surveys can also be picked up and returned to Abington General Store, Crossburn Service Station – Douglas, and Leadhills General Store. Posters containing consultation information for those without online access can also be viewed at these locations, as well as Douglas Main Street Community Noticeboard, Leadhills Community Noticeboard and Wanlockhead Community Noticeboard.

A digital drop-in regarding the consultation will take place on Wednesday 2 December, 4-7pm, where members of the public are invited to log on to speak to project staff about information provided in the proposal. Anyone can do this on the following link, and is advised to download the video conferencing app, Zoom, before joining: http://www.ironsidefarrar.com/keylinks/drop_in.html 

Information gathered will help identify routes and priorities for access to and around the village centres, as well as build a better picture of current active travel patterns and barriers that exist in each of the locations.

Make Your Way - Key Links will provide a network of easily navigated routes between Abington and Abington Services, Douglas and the National Cycle Network 74, and Leadhills and Wanlockhead, linking key community facilities, making it an easy and safe choice to walk, cycle or wheel to access the village centres for education, employment, transport or other everyday uses.

The project is funded by Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme and managed by Rural Development Trust’s Community Action Lanarkshire programme. Ironside Farrar have been appointed as project consultants.

Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme is funded by the Scottish Government and aims to make places safer, healthier and more attractive through increasing and improving every day active travel journeys.

The infrastructure opportunities were identified through public consultations that took place as part of a number of Sustainable Travel Action Plans and Make Your Way active travel mapping initiatives, both in 2019, under the Community Action Lanarkshire programme. They are Abington to Abington Services, Douglas to the NCN74 and Leadhills to Wanlockhead. Consultation identified these routes as currently only realistically suitable for vehicular traffic.

Make Your Way - Key Links connects to both local and national priorities connected to active travel provision and targets towards a greener and more sustainable future, with enhanced access to local employment, education and healthcare opportunities, as well as reducing emissions and increased health and wellbeing opportunities.

Aileen Campbell, MSP for Clydesdale says, “During lockdown, many people turned to walking and cycling for their exercise or as a way to travel and we want to retain that shift in behaviour and support more people to get active.   That’s because active travel has so many benefits – it’s great for our physical health, our wellbeing and it’s far better for the environment by reducing car journeys.  

“But in order to encourage more people to get out walking or cycling, engagement needs to happen with our people and communities.  That’s why this feasibility study and consultation are so important.  It will help ensure local voices shape the development of active travel infrastructure for the future and will be far more authentic and sustainable in the process.  I encourage as many people as possible to take part and help create a special legacy for the future.”

Sarah O’Sullivan, Community Action Lanarkshire Project Officer says, “Community voices and local knowledge are vital to the success of the project so we’re hoping for a fantastic response to this initial consultation. This consultation will be followed by a more detailed consultation in 2021 regarding the routes identified, as well as trial activities in each location.”

Feasibility studies for each of the routes are currently underway, which seek to examine the new infrastructure options in greater detail and in collaboration with landowners, local community representatives and stakeholders.

It is anticipated that this initial grant will lead to the Rural Development Trust securing a future funding award from Places for Everyone to create detailed designs and ultimately install the new infrastructure over the next few years.

Infrastructure Coordinator for Sustrans Tim Aeberli says, “Sustrans is delighted to support the Rural Development Trust with the delivery of three active travel links within and between the villages in Clydesdale. Now that initial options for the links have been identified, we want to hear from as many people as possible to shape the routes and to make sure the project meets the needs of the local communities.”  

Take part in the online survey at www.ironsidefarrar.com/keylinks/event.html and pick up your paper copy at the locations listed above before Sunday 13 December.

For further information on the project please contact Sarah O’Sullivan, Project Officer for Community Action Lanarkshire at sarah.osullivan@ruraldevtrust.co.uk. You can also stay up to date at the website www.communityactionlan.org and on social media www.facebook.com/CommunityActionLan.