PLANS due to be finished for the long-awaited Helensburgh to Dumbarton cycle path now won't be ready until September, it has been revealed.

"Some progress" has been made in recent months, but technical designers missed the March 2023 deadline and council officials have had to amend their plans.

Cardross Community Council (CCC) were given an update at their May meeting, and they urged landowners along the route to help all they could with assessments.

The contract just for the design before any path is completed, has gone up by 27 per cent to £260,000, the meeting was told.

A potential completion date is now in the "late 2020s".

Lindsey Young, CCC's vice convener, said afterwards: "It really can't come soon enough."

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Colin Young (no relation) the transportation delivery officer for Argyll and Bute Council, spoke to the community councillors and said some progress had been made since he last spoke to them in December.

At that meeting, the completion date for the design was the end of the financial year in March.

CCC said instead that Mr Young reported the council's contract with technical design firm WSP was being amended with a new goal of the end of July for the ecology reports, and September for the design.

He reportedly said that depended on funding issues and landowners giving access for assessment.

Still to come are ecology surveys of flora and fauna, a road safety audit details of road corssings, a flood risk assessment, design of drainage, detail of design of construction methods, detail of design of route, the exact location of utilities including gas and water pipes, a licence from environment agency SEPA, and a bill of quantities.

The meeting was told half of landowners have given access for the flora and fauna survey. But one resident at the meeting said he had been phoned by WSP about the survey even though the route did not cross his land.

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WSP, he said, told him they didn't know the route.

Mr Young told CCC that the route was decided and the caller was mistaken. The survey, however, includes surrounding areas.

Once the technical design is complete, land will need to be acquired through voluntary negotiation with landowners. Compulsory purchase orders remain a last resort, the meeting was told.

They also heard that the project must re-apply for funds from the Scottish Government each year, and the current pot is for design only. Argyll and Bute Council will need to raise 30 per cent of the cash.

CCC reported that Mr Young said he remained committed to completing the project. And he thanked residents for their continued interest as keeping the project going.

Lindsey Young said: "We are very hopeful that Colin, WSP and the land owners will be able to work together for the good of the local community and the planet to be able to bring the technical design for the cycle path to completion by September.

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"As a community council we would urge any landowners who have received letters from WSP to ask for access for ecological studies etc with questions to get in touch with Colin who is happy to answer any questions people have.

"His email is"

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: “We are committed to delivering the Helensburgh – Cardross – Dumbarton cycle path, which is a long-held community aspiration. This complex project requires detailed ecological surveys and agreement from a number of landowners, all of which takes time.

"Our contractors, WSP expect to complete design works by the end of July 2023, subject to undertaking ecological surveys.

"We are working on a separate tender process to identify a preferred cycle path route between Helensburgh Waterfront and the existing section of the cycle path at Morrison’s supermarket. We are likely to award this in the coming weeks.

"A progress report will go to the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee on June 13.”

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Jackie Baillie, the area's constituency MSP, said: “It has been almost a quarter of a century since this project was first talked about, when Sarah Boyack was the Transport Minister in the office next to me. Funding was awarded at the time so I find it absolutely extraordinary that this still rumbles on.

“People who could hugely benefit from this cycle path are completely and utterly frustrated by the lack of progress.

“Sadly, with inflation rising it is of no surprise that costs have increased significantly but it brings into even sharper focus how important it is that this is accelerated and work begins as soon as possible.”