COMMUNITY figures are set to hear of plans to revitalise Helensburgh and Lomond’s travel network to help more people get about the area.

Details of work planned for several walking, wheelchair and cycling routes in the area have been set out in a new report.

The document, compiled by Argyll and Bute Council's strategic transportation delivery officer Colin Young, also confirms that the route of the Helensburgh-Cardross-Dumbarton cycle path has changed after community consultation.

Plans continue to be made to progress the project, which it was revealed in December is now planned to be complete in 2027.

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Mr Young said: “Following community consultation in April/May 2019, the preferred route for Helensburgh to Cardross has been changed in line with the community’s preferred route and a preferred route has been identified for the section between Cardross and Dumbarton.

“This design work will develop the designs for the identified route to enable the council to progress this important project.

“Construction commenced in January 2020 on the approximately 285m section of the cycle path linking Cardross station to the Geilston Burn, including construction of the bridge required over the Geilston Burn. This will complete the route within Cardross.

“Initial work is being undertaken to identify opportunities to improve the route of the existing Helensburgh to Garelochhead cycle route which currently consists of mainly on-road sections, including on busy main roads, and in places follows a circuitous and therefore unattractive route.”

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Mr Young’s report also outlines ongoing work to install pedestrian and cycle counters located around Helensburgh, Blackhill and Loch Lomondside.

It also states that cycle and scooter storage facilities have been installed at Colgrain and Arrochar Primary Schools, at their request.

Mr Young said: “The purpose of infrastructure development and delivery is to provide high-quality, accessible routes for people to walk/wheelchair and, in the case of cycleways/cyclepaths to cycle or scoot, thereby enabling and encouraging them to travel actively.

“Research has identified that a lack of suitable and safe routes are one of the most frequently cited reasons for not travelling more actively.

“These physical barriers can be relatively minor items, for example lack of dropped kerbs, or larger, for example the lack of an off-carriageway route.

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“This is particularly notable within Argyll and Bute where the majority of walking and/or cycling provision is limited or non-existent out with the built-up areas, forcing users to walk/cycle on national speed limit carriageways.

“Research has demonstrated that increased activity, including travelling actively, has significant physical and mental health benefits, reduces inequality, creates a healthier and more productive workforce, reduces congestion and transport related pollution and reduces land take required for parking.

“As such, promotion of active travel delivers benefits and savings across both the public and private sectors while supporting economic development and healthier, happier lives.”

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