WORK has started on improving a cycle route through Greenock as part of a near £600,000 investment to encourage active travel.
Measures will be introduced to enhance facilities for bikes from Container Way in the town centre along to Battery Park.
The £200,000 Inverclyde Council project will be delivered in phases over the next couple of months, with traffic management in place throughout.
It is one of the first schemes being delivered by the local authority after it successfully bid for £585,000 of funding from the national ‘Spaces for People’ initiative, which is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered through charity Sustrans Scotland.
There will also be additional space for pedestrians on footways whilst keeping a two-metre distance from others, in line with the ongoing safety restrictions.
The existing shared foot and cycle path between Battery Park and the Esplanade will be widened with bolt-down kerbs and bollards installed to create a dedicated cycling lane. That will initially be a temporary measure but may be retained depending on usage numbers.
Similar changes will be introduced along the Esplanade, widening the existing cycle lane, and on Campbell Street the footway will be widened to accommodate the new bike path. These will be permanent measures with no loss of parking.
The foot/cycle path from Brougham Street to Laird Street and Grey Place will be widened with bolt-down kerbs and bollards installed to create a dedicated cycling lane. This will be temporary but could also be retained depending on usage levels.
Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “As horrible as the pandemic has been, one of the few positives to take from it has been the huge surge in the number of people getting out and about walking, cycling, wheeling and re-discovering the beauty we have here on our doorstep in Inverclyde.
“There will be some short-term disruption while work on the cycle route takes place but every effort has been made to minimise any inconvenience.
“I’d like to thank people in advance for their patience and understanding and I’m sure the cycle path will be something cyclists and walkers alike will feel the benefits of when it is completed in the spring just in time for the start of, hopefully, much better weather in which to enjoy the great outdoors.”
The ‘Spaces for People’ scheme is aimed at improving walking and cycling infrastructure to assist with physical distancing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other local projects are being developed by the council taking into account feedback provided by residents during its ‘Safe Streets Save Lives’ consultation last year.
A common theme identified was for clearly defined cycle routes to separate cyclists and pedestrians.