THE delay in delivering the Helensburgh to Dumbarton cycle path has been labelled “an embarrassment” to Argyll and Bute Council by a long-serving member.

Ellen Morton was expressing her disappointment at no mention of the path in a draft service plan at last week’s meeting of the authority’s environment, development and infrastructure committee.

Sections of the path have been built between Helensburgh and Cardross, with the project due for completion in 2023.

But Councillor Morton slammed the continued delay and stated that when it first got the go-ahead, Sarah Boyack was the Scottish Parliamentary minister who gave it.

Ms Boyack ceased to be an MSP two years ago, defeated in the 2016 election by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, and had not held a ministerial post at Holyrood since 2007.

Councillor Morton said: “I am disappointed there is no reference to the path, which is an embarrassment to this council.

“The money for it was allocated by Sarah Boyack. We have now reached 18 years and still have not delivered the project.

“It is becoming more and more difficult for Councillor David Kinniburgh, Councillor Richard Trail and myself to attend Cardross Community Council as we are being slaughtered at every meeting over this.

“We need to get this project focused on. We need to get the senior management team to get fully engaged as opposed to leaving it to junior members of staff who don’t have the clout to drive it forward.”

Pippa Milne, executive director of development and infrastructure, said: “That project is reported on separately and regular updates are given to the area committee.

“It is worth highlighting that the project requires us to acquire land from a number of owners. Having now spent the money awarded by Sarah Boyack, we are now relying on alternative funding for the project.

“It has been protracted to get the route completed but officers are working together to get that addressed.”

Committee chairman, Councillor Roddy McCuish (Oban South and the Isles), proposed that a more detailed report was given to the next Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee meeting on Thursday, December 20.

He added: “It would help to know if we are going to do this.”

Ms Milne responded that a detailed report was planned for the area committee meeting.