THIS week's Advertiser letters page is entirely given over to the views of residents of Cardross who were spurred into action by calls to scrap the long-planned, and partially completed, cycling and walking path linking the village with Helensburgh and Dumbarton.

The calls were made at a meeting last month by Lomond North councillor George Freeman, while his Helensburgh counterpart Gary Mulvaney also questioned whether the path should be a high priority for Argyll and Bute Council.

You can read that story in full by clicking here – meanwhile, here's what Cardross residents made of their views.

To have your say on this, or any other, topic, all you have to do is email or to get in touch via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please remember, when getting in touch, to supply us with your name and address, and to keep your views as brief and to-the-point as you can.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, although this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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I AM prompted to respond to the entirely negative statements made by Councillors Freeman and Mulvaney regarding the long-awaited Cardross to Helensburgh cycle track (Advertiser, September 26).

Both appear to be blissfully ignorant of the environmental lobby in support of cycling and have wilfully missed the point about cycling provision in Scotland and the proven benefits that cycling provides – fresh air, exercise and a sustainable means of transport.

Those of us in Cardross who have campaigned for so long for the completion of this link know how badly that it is needed and we are angry and frustrated by the continued series of delays.

No sooner has a route been agreed than a new ‘public consultation’ takes place to further hamper progress. These consultations have soaked up money that would have been better spent on the ground.

We are also fed up with the ongoing blame game being played by Argyll and Bute Council against local landowners about who is responsible for the delays. All we want is a safe cycling route for a mere four miles to the Helensburgh boundary.

We know that serious road cyclists will never use a cycle track, which is a good thing, as they travel much faster than most of us who would cycle for leisure and a bit of exercise or simply to carry out some business in Helensburgh which would otherwise entail a car journey.

As has been pointed out, Hermitage Academy is within easy cycling distance from Cardross and pupils could be encouraged to cycle to school if a safe cycle route was available.

I am glad to see that our locally elected councillors appear to be on our side. Councillors Mulvaney and Freeman are not the elected representatives for Cardross and we would be pleased if they would restrict their focus to affairs in their own respective wards.

Bob Murray, Napier Avenue, Cardross

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 26, 2019

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A WEEK might be a long time in politics but it’s nothing compared to the 20 years our councillors have been backpedalling on the Dumbarton to Helensburgh cycle path.

From your report of September 26, it is obvious Councillor Freeman is extremely angry and frustrated at the lack of progress on this project.

He also suggests the route will not get much use. I can tell him that the small section which has been completed, linking Ferry Road and Station Road in Cardross, gets a lot of use.

On rainy days pedestrians from the east end of the village can now get to the railway station, and then to work and school, without getting covered in mud as they did before the cycle path was put in.

Children on bikes, scooters and skateboards make good use of the new pathway and bridge as do dog walkers, joggers and even the occasional adult cyclist. I’m sure a lot more cyclists and walkers will use the full route when (if) it is completed.

There’s little safe provision for pedestrians on any of the roads linking our towns and villages. Cycle ways are not just for cyclists and are much used by people out for a stroll and by hikers enjoying long-distance walks.

Separating walkers and cyclists from our main roads would greatly increase road safety, especially as Argyll and Bute Council seem to have adopted a new policy of treating white lines and cats eyes as optional extras on many routes. This is absolute madness both in terms of safety and economics.

Councillors know that dark nights and unmarked rural roads are a recipe for disaster. By failing to provide basic safety measures such as white lines, the council is wide open to massive damages claims from the people who will inevitably be injured and bereaved due to council negligence.

John F. Robins , Bainfield Road, Cardross

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 19, 2019

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I READ with interest the article quoting Cllr George Freeman calling for the Helensburgh-Dumbarton cycle path project to be scrapped.

Whilst I can empathise with some of the comments made, I feel much of what was said is either misleading or simply inaccurate.

Your own headline and the content of the article refer to the “cycle path” when it would be more accurately described as a mixed use cycle/walking path, situated, as it is, near yet remote from the adjacent A814 carriageway and intended for use as a shared surface by both cyclists and pedestrians.

I use the path most days both as a pedestrian and a cyclist and I know many others who do likewise.

It is true however to say that the path’s full potential will only ever be achieved if it continues on through to Dumbarton where connections already exist onwards to Bowling, Clydebank and ultimately Glasgow.

The fact that dedicated road cyclists are unlikely ever to be tempted off road and on to a mixed use path is hardly surprising and in no way negates its value in terms of the general health and well-being of the wider community of walkers, joggers, runners, leisure cyclists and wheelchair users, not to mention parents walking with their young children riding beside them on their wee bicycles in a car-free environment.

There are nevertheless some patently obvious problems with the section of path already in existence between Waitrose and Colgrain Steading.

The omission of plant free margins and edging to either side of the path mean that roots from shrubs growing alongside the path are already pushing up through the surface of the path (and not just at the edges) and causing it to break up. Brambles growing immediately adjacent to the path are liable to cause punctures.

These examples undoubtedly stem from the poor design, construction and inadequate maintenance of the path and it would be wise to learn from past experience before embarking on any future sections of the path.

With this in mind there is no shortage of technical advice available on the design and construction of mixed use walking/cycling paths. Given that the highest quality and best maintained mixed use surface has a life expectancy of only 20 years, the clock is surely ticking on the section of path already in use.

Finally, opening up the matter of preferred routes to the public for further discussion at this late stage in the procurement process was surely a retrograde step and will likely lead to yet more delays and probably cost increases.

Unless the council gets on with the next section or sections soon, it will be time to replace the one already in existence.

Robert Sills, Colgrain Steading, Cardross

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 12, 2019

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I READ with some surprise the comments made by Councillor Freeman regarding scrapping the Helensburgh-Dumbarton cycle and walking path project.

While his comments appear to have been well rebuffed within the article by other councillors, I was keen to raise a voice in support of the scheme.

As a keen cyclist who has frequently cycled the A814 route, I would highlight just how narrow the road is over much of the distance between Helensburgh to Dumbarton, with relatively few straights for vehicles to pass cyclists safely.

I often feel like a road accident statistic waiting to happen while cycling this road, and as a result now try and limit my use of the A814 by bike as much as possible. Now I’m not really getting a vibe from the article that Councillor Freeman is a keen cyclist, but I would encourage him to take a ride along this stretch of road to help shape a better informed viewpoint.

From a Cardross resident’s perspective, the opportunities for commuting safely by foot or bike between Helensburgh and Cardross are shameful. A well-designed path would clearly promote links between the communities, and local businesses in between, which can only be a good thing.

I would agree that a cycle route offers good potential for use by Cardross pupils cycling to school. I would currently not let my children anywhere near the A814 road on their bikes.

The negative comments raised in the article also seem at odds with the general focus in the country on tacking climate change. When considering the recent climate change marches, and the stated aim for Glasgow to be carbon neutral by 2030, Councillor Freeman’s comment that the money “would be better ploughed in to roads” appears to be pretty out of touch.

I would be interested to know what basis Councillor Freeman has for implying that cyclists will not use the path.

In recent years cycling has enjoyed a surge in popularity with national success on the sporting stage, and through schemes such as ‘Cycle to Work’.

In addition, the rise in the use of Electric ‘E’ bikes, means that cycling is more available than ever to people that would normally find cycling challenging.

As technology advances, and these bikes become more affordable, their use will only increase.

As a nation we seem to struggle to see cycling as a form of transport rather than a sport. In order to appeal to everyone, it has to be safe and accessible.

Aside from the protracted land purchase negotiations, it is important to remember that construction of this scheme should be relatively straightforward and economical. This is not the Forth Crossing we are talking about!

Jonathan Young, Cardross

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READ MORE: Helensburgh Advertiser letters – September 5, 2019

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Given progress, or lack of, regarding the Helensburgh-Cardross-Dumbarton cycle path project over the past 20 years, I was quite taken aback to learn from Councillor Gary Mulvaney (Advertiser, September 26) that it had any priority at any time!

However, I must agree with Councillor David Kinniburgh’s response to Councillor Freeman’s comment that few cyclists use the path, when he points out that at the moment it doesn’t actually go anywhere, and, until completion, minimal use is likely to be the order of the day.

That said, I think the change of route may have been a mistake. Given the current snail’s pace of progress, I suspect that the new proposed route nearer the river will be under water as the Polar ice caps will have melted long before the path is finished!

Eric Duncan, Muirend Road, Cardross