Communities from St Andrews to Crail celebrate as Transition University of St Andrews is awarded £39k to investigate a new off-the-road cycle and walking path between Crail and St Andrews.
The funding award, received from the Scottish Government-funded Sustrans Community Links scheme, focuses on supporting cycling and walking for commuter journeys.
The project is at a feasibility stage and is making a case for the path to be created along the old railway route from Crail north to Boarhills and from there along new routes to the east of the A917.
Initiated by a group of enthusiastic local people along the route, including local Councillors, it has now gained much wider support as Alistair Macleod of Transition University of St Andrews explains: “Our public consultation in 2016 had a great response from over 350 people. It showed overwhelming support for the new path route. It also showed that many respondents didn’t cycle because they were frightened of the fast traffic on these roads.”
“An off-the-road shared use cycle path would provide fast, safe and direct connectivity for communities and the many tourism-focussed businesses along the route. It will also enable those who were really concerned for their safety to be able to get on a bike.”
Consultant Crispin Hayes has been appointed to carry out much of the development work and will be creating plans for the route in consultation with landowners: “Preliminary work that we previously carried out showed that many farmers and landowners get it in terms of the cycle path idea. They get that a safe off-the-road route benefits the whole community which they are part of. In general, we have a pretty warm reception. If they have a visitor business they love the idea. It helps them deliver their own sustainability goals.”
Sustrans Scotland Community Links Manager Dave Keane said: “We are delighted to be able to provide funding to Transition St Andrews for the development of a new path linking communities along the Fife Coast. Transition University of St Andrews has worked hard to involve the local community in this project and we look forward to working in partnership to develop the feasibility study.
After the initial feasibility study work will begin on a detailed design plan for sections of the path where landowner approval has been given. Construction will then depend on further funding alongside the support of landowners and the council.”
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.Local community