ENVIRONMENT: Community consultation on project to improve the River Leven towpath

  • Sustrans Scotland, in collaboration with West Dunbartonshire Council, asks residents to share ideas to make the river-side walking, wheeling and cycling route between Balloch and Dumbarton more welcoming, accessible and enjoyable.
  • Investment to enhance the route, funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by Sustrans Scotland, will fund community-driven improvements to encourage more residents to connect with their local greenspace.

By Mark Shields

Walking and cycling charity Sustrans has called on communities around the River Leven Path to have their say on an exciting new project to improve a well-used walking, cycling and wheeling route.

The Scottish Greenways Programme, backed by funding from Transport Scotland, has asked local people to share their views on improvements which will encourage more people to use the traffic-free path between Dumbarton and Balloch.

The online consultation will allow people to submit their ideas through an interactive map of the route. The consultation, which can be accessed at www.riverlevenpath.co.uk, will be open for comments until 31st January 2021.

Shaped by feedback provided by the public and further consultation with groups and individuals in the area early next year, the project will be carried out during 2021.

The River Leven between Renton and Balloch is used as a tip. Picture by Bill Heaney

Kristen Layne, Greenways Programme Coordinator at Sustrans Scotland, said: “Given the global events of the past few months, the importance of providing more opportunities for people to walk, wheel and cycle safely has never been higher.

“Many people across Scotland have been discovering their local greenspaces for the first time, and are enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of walking, wheeling or cycling for essential journeys and daily exercise.

“Scotland’s communities are our greatest source of local knowledge, and are uniquely placed to share the needs and ambitions of people living, working and socialising in their area.

“We want to work with the communities of Balloch, Dumbarton and the surrounding areas to shape this exciting investment in their local route to make it more welcoming, attractive and accessible for everyone.

“We hope that to hear from as many people in the area as possible through our online consultation process.”

Councillor Iain McLaren, left, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development at West Dunbartonshire Council added: “This is a popular and well-used path, and that is why we are working together to make it as welcoming, enjoyable and accessible as it can be for both residents and visitors.

“This year has been a stark reminder of how vital open spaces for active travel and leisure are in our communities, and offering increased opportunities for this activity is essential.

“If you use the path, or live locally, please participate in the consultation to share ideas of how you think it can be enhanced – your views are extremely important to us.”

The consultation, and more information about the project, can be accessed at www.RiverLevenPath.co.uk

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