There is a strong desire for Active Travel routes to be improved in Ayrshire according to the results of a recent community consultation undertaken on behalf of South Ayrshire Council.
Members of the public were invited to share their views on proposals to develop The Ayrshire Link an exciting ten-mile active travel route linking Ayr to Barassie at a series of consultation events. The proposed route, which will begin at Ayr Esplanade and end at Barassie, is designed for the safe and accessible use by walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users, encouraging physical travel over vehicle travel.
More than 1,000 people pro-actively engaged via in person consultation events, online surveys, and school workshops.
52% of respondents felt that the existing infrastructure is inadequate or poor. The majority, 79%, also felt that the proposed route was the best option with 32% requesting minor changes.
There was an overwhelming desire, 82% in favour, of a proposed dedicated pedestrian/cyclists’ bridge to be developed over the River Ayr linking South Harbour Street to North Harbour Street.
Some 67% of respondents confirmed that they currently use active travel for short journeys, a sentiment shared by primary school pupils, where 83% use active travel weekly increasing to 94% with the implementation of improved routes. Secondary pupils already use active travel regularly, however 56% said they would engage more with the improvements.
Councillor Bob Pollock, Economic Development Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “I would like to thank all those who took the time to give us their views. This feedback is vital and will be used to inform our decision-making process. It’s clear that residents are well aware of the importance of active travel and we need to do all we can to harness their enthusiasm.”
The project is being co-ordinated by Ayrshire Roads Alliance, a public sector partnership between East and South Ayrshire Councils, in collaboration with Sweco, a European design, engineering and regulatory consultancy focused on making societies more sustainable.
David Manson, Special Project Officer, Ayrshire Roads Alliance added, “It’s been rewarding to see so many people engage, especially the number of young people who took the time to take part in the consultations. Receiving feedback to the initial proposals is vital in helping shape designs for the next stage of the process.”
The design team will now produce more detailed proposals for consideration by South Ayrshire Council with further consultation events planned for late summer. If successful, it is anticipated that work will start in 2025 and take two to three years to complete.
Further information is available at www.theayrshirelink.com or 0800 987 5990.