Increased funding leads to additional cycling, walking and safer routes projects

Following increased funding from Transport Scotland, the Council has made some changes to its Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes (CWSR) programme for 2020/21.

The ARA Roads Investment Capital programme for 2020/21 was approved by Cabinet on 4 March 2020, and the programme for CWSR projects was based upon a provisional allocation of £0.2M from Transport Scotland. The following schemes were therefore identified for funding in 2020/21:

• Installation of Puffin Crossing at B7081 Irvine Road, Kilmarnock
• Localised road widening and pedestrian crossing facility at Grougar Road, Crookedholm
• Pedestrian safety measures at Fenwick Primary School
• Phase 2 of Kilmarnock to Crosshouse Cycle Route (part funded by SPT)
• New pedestrian crossing facility to facilitate Safe Routes to School – A719 at Loudoun Academy

Due to extra funding through a revised grant offer of £0.536M from Transport Scotland, three additional schemes will now be funded: the B743 Hilltop Path and Viewing Area in Mauchline; enhanced cycle and scooter parking at schools and Early Childhood Centres; and additional funding for the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse Cycle route.

These are in addition to three schemes that have been carried forward from 2019/20 which were delayed due to Covid-19, which are:
• Installation of Puffin Crossing at B7038 Dean Street, Kilmarnock
• Installation of Puffin Crossing at B7073 Main Road, Crookedholm
• Installation of pedestrian refuge islands at B7073 London Road, Kilmarnock

These projects will be progressed as soon as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions allow.

The B743 Hilltop Path project will create a footpath connection from the Mauchline settlement boundary into the existing path network to the east of Mauchline. It will provide a safe and attractive circular walking route for the local community and will mean that pedestrians have a dedicated footpath rather than having to share the carriageway with traffic.

The enhanced cycle and scooter parking is being welcomed by several schools and Early Childhood Centres who expressed an interest in obtaining additional parking areas. A bid has been submitted to the Sustrans Cycle and Scooter parking fund which would provide 50% of the funding, with the other half paid for through the extra Transport Scotland funding.

The extra parking would be at the following schools/ECCs:

• Annanhill PS
• Auchinleck PS & ECC
• Fenwick PS
• Kilmaurs PS
• New Cumnock ECC
• New Cumnock PS
• Onthank ECC
• St Sophia’s PS

The final additional project will involve providing extra funding for the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse Cycle Route. Phase 1 of this project, between the new Fardalehill residential development and the Dalespark roundabout, was completed in April 2017. Phase 2 of the project involves widening the existing footways to form a shared use footway/cycleway from the Dalespark roundabout to Crosshouse Hospital and connecting to Crosshouse village.

As part of their planning consent, the Fardalehill developer is required to provide a connecting link to the National Cycle Network (N73). Following additional design work, the scheme will now need an additional Toucan crossing on Kilmarnock Road in Crosshouse and another retaining wall where the widened path passes Crosshouse Hospital. These extra works will require additional funding to that previously identified which can be met from the increased Transport Scotland funding. SPT is also providing £0.1M for the project.

Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The new projects will be a great addition to the CWST programme. The Mauchline project will be particularly welcomed due to the increased walking that’s been taking place on the route since the start of Covid-19.

“In our schools and Early Childhood Centres, I know that the establishments involved will make excellent use of the enhanced bike and scooter parking and that it will help them in their efforts to encourage cycling and walking to school. I’m also pleased to see that the extra measures to be carried out on the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse Cycle Route will make the route even safer for those who use it and, again, this will be important as more and more people are now cycling due to the current circumstances.

“I look forward to seeing work being progressed as soon as possible on these various projects which will bring real safety, wellbeing and leisure benefits to our local communities.”