Sustrans Scotland is delighted to announce the five cycling and walking proposals to reach Stage Three in the unique Community Links PLUS design competition, announced by Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands in November last year.
Community Links PLUS attracted 25 applications from 24 Local Authorities across Scotland. The entries – initially narrowed down to 10 pioneering projects – sought to re-balance Scotland’s streets making walking, cycling and pedestrian access for all ages and abilities safer, easier and healthier.
Key criteria for the projects included robust community engagement plans, high standards of design quality and innovation, deliverability and partnership work. Crucially, the Community Links PLUS projects will deliver segregated, on-road cycle paths and facilitate improvements to our public realm to help people of all ages and abilities – to explore without a car and to make 10% of everyday trips by bike by 2020.
We believe that the final five projects will have the ability to re-invigorate and greatly improve local streetscapes in the towns and cities. They will also have a positive economic impact on local shops and businesses – with people finding it easier and safer to access and use local facilities via these high-impact, game-changing projects.
The final five projects are:
1. City Centre to West Edinburgh Urban Cycling Corridor – City of Edinburgh Council
Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “I am delighted that we have reached the next stage of the Community Links plus competition. The projects covered by our bid are focussed on making cycling a practical and attractive travel choice in the city’s crucial western corridor, and on ensuring that cycling is an option from day one for residents, employees and users of new development on Edinburgh’s western edge.
“Our aim is to deliver joined-up, high quality, cycle infrastructure alongside pedestrian and urban realm improvements, from Edinburgh city centre to its expanding western edge, in so doing linking some of Edinburgh’s biggest generators of local journeys and integrating with both tram and rail.”
2. Woodlands Mini Holland – Glasgow City Council
3. Victoria Road – Glasgow City Council
Councillor Martin McElroy, Glasgow City Council cycling spokesman, said: “This is great news. We want to see many more Glaswegians get on their bikes and cycle their way to a healthier life and less congested city. It is going to take a lot of investment in cycling infrastructure throughout the city to help make this happen and we’re looking forward to the next stage in the process.
“More than 9,000 (9255) cycle journeys were made in and out of Glasgow every day last year – an increase of 35% from previous years and 207% since 2007. This is a figure we are keen to build upon. Making cycling attractive for all levels of cyclists is key to achieving this and our plans, if successful, will help get a lot more people on their bikes.”
4. Burnbrae: Making the Connection – East Dunbartonshire Council
Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of Development and Regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, said,
“We are delighted to be among the five Scottish projects shortlisted for Sustrans Community Links Plus funding – potentially paving the way for significant investment in the Bearsden and Milngavie area.
“It’s tremendous news and I want to commend all the officers on their work to bring fresh investment to East Dunbartonshire at a time when the Council’s finances are under extreme pressure.
“This is a preliminary, outline proposal at the moment – suggesting a new roundabout design at Burnbrae and associated work on Bears Way – and any detailed plans will be drawn up in consultation with the community and stakeholders.
“The current roundabout layout has been raised in the past as an issue by both motorists and cyclists. The Council views this as an opportunity to investigate options and best examples used elsewhere to shape a proposed solution that improves safety for all road users.”
5. The Inverness City Active Travel Network – The Highland Council
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the funding for The Inverness City Active Travel Network – Community Links Plus project, she said: “This welcome funding from Sustrans will allows us to make a real difference to the active travel network in Inverness ensuring that the city remains as Scotland’s best cycling city. This will enable us to achieve our ambition of doubling the level of commuter cycling trips in Inverness and to surpass the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland target of 10% of all trips to be by bike by 2020.”
John Lauder, National Director, Sustrans Scotland says:
“We are absolutely delighted with the extremely high quality of entries to the Community Links PLUS design competition. These proposals are exemplary in their understanding of the need to improve our streets for the well-being of everyone. They bode well for the future of Scotland. The Scottish Government, and in particular, Derek Mackay MSP, the Minister for Transport and Islands has demonstrated real vision in supporting this competition. Critically, all local authorities across Scotland have shown they are keen to enable access for pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities. The country is embracing the health and economic benefits of a modal shift in how we design our streets and roads.”