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Update on cycle path link scheme

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By Donald Turvill
Update on cycle path link scheme

COUNCILLORS are set to be brought up to speed on the progress of a new cyclepath that will link Moffat and Beattock.

Members of the Communities Committee will next week hear that engineering designers have completed the first stages of preparing official briefs and concept designs.

It had been intended that completion of these first steps would move the council to apply for further capital from the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, which has funded the designs so far.

This would allow developers to move to stages three and four, developed and technical design. However, due to “working restrictions and reallocation of resources to support essential services” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the project is suffering delays.

The design process followed a 2019 consultation by Dumfries and Galloway Council with community councils from Moffat and

Kirkpatrick Juxta, charity Cycling UK, parent councils from Beattock Primary and Moffat Academy and other members of the communities at consultation events.

In September last year, South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine wrote to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson in support of the project. She said: “I can agree that completion of this path would be a step toward promoting health and wellbeing while also creating a sustainable option for travel.”

Also noted in the council’s Infrastructure Capital Programme 2020/21 report, published online ahead of the committee next week, is the progression of designs – funded by Swestrans – aiming to improve visibility at The Hidden Corner on the A701 along the proposed route. Negotiations on private land acquisitions required to facilitate improvements on the bend are “taking time”, the report says, “not helped in part by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions”.

However, it adds engineering designers are “endeavouring to progress this discrete scheme,” which it highlights as a fundamental element to the overall cycleway project.

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