Work to create a brand-new £1million walking and cycling route which will link the town centres of Renfrew and Paisley is now underway.
Preparatory works to clear overgrown vegetation is taking place along the section of the route behind Abbotsinch Retail Park, which in time will provide walkers and cyclists with access to West College Scotland and the former Chivas site – the proposed location of the new Paisley Grammar community campus.
The 5km route will run parallel to the White Cart, beginning on the banks of the River Clyde at the Renfrew Ferry where it will be able to connect into the new two-lane road bridge over the River Clyde to Clydebank and Yoker – construction of which is due to start next year as part of the area’s Glasgow City Region City Deal investment.
From Renfrew, it will work its way through the town centre behind the Town Hall, travel via Robertson and Knockhill Park, before following the former railway track between Wright Street in Renfrew and Abercorn Street in Paisley.
It will then cross the newly reopened White Cart Footbridge at Abercorn Street into the town centre, before finishing at Paisley Gilmour Street train station.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said “I was delighted to visit part of the site of the new cycle route as works get underway to create what will be a fantastic link between Renfrew and Paisley’s town centres.
“Ensuring that local people can walk, wheel or cycle throughout Renfrewshire is a key aim of this Council as we look to encourage people to leave their cars, get active and live healthier lives – and this also supports our climate change ambitions by reducing emissions as we strive to become net-zero by 2030.
“I look forward to seeing the work continue to progress throughout the year.”
The route will provide a safe cycling and walking route between the two town centres for the first time in decades and will also connect to walking and cycling routes around the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS), including a new bridge across the White Cart river connecting into Arran Avenue and Glasgow Airport and an east-west link road, all with accompanying walking and cycling options – part of the AMIDS South project.
The route can be seen at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RenfrewtoPaisleyCycleRoute.
The route design is a main priority of the Renfrewshire Cycling Strategy 2016-2025 and was awarded £935,000 as one of 12 projects to receive funding from the Scottish Government’s Clyde Mission Fund.
Active Travel Minister Patrick Harvie said: “Through Clyde Mission, we have provided almost £1million to improving walking and cycling links in Renfrewshire. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that the Paisley to Renfrew cycle route has on building better links between the town centres and supporting active travel.
“This project supports our ambitions to put the Clyde back at the centre of our economy and communities, and at the heart of our plans for a net zero future.”
Formalised in the Programme for Government set out by the Scottish Government in September 2020, the Clyde Mission Fund has provided £13.6 million to 13 projects in the Clyde Corridor to put the river at the heart of the area’s place ambitions.
Successful projects have to contribute to inclusive economic growth, reduce carbon emissions or improve the environment, involve partners and communities in the project and show a real benefit to the local community.
The new route is planned to be completed by the end of 2022 after a contract worth almost £1million was awarded for its construction to JH Civil Engineering Limited.