A £9 million active travel scheme on the coastal path between Dundee and Monifieth that will provide continuous off-road cycling has been described as ‘unparalleled’.
Funded by the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme, the coastal path project aims to provide a continuous off-road route between Dundee and Monifieth.
The proposal would convert part of the road around Windmill Gardens to a cycle/walking/running shared path providing a link along the Esplanade away from vehicles, while a current ‘pinch-point’ over the Dighty, where a 1m wooden bridge currently stands, will be replaced with a 5m wide concrete structure to ease access.
Developed by Dundee City Council in consultation with Sustrans, the Windmill Gardens link will change the face of active travel in that part of Broughty Ferry and help create a through-route for longer-distance journeys on the National Cycle Network Route 1 and options for people in local communities who may prefer shorter walks and rides.
During late 2019 and early 2020, hundreds of people in Broughty Ferry and Monifieth had their say on draft concept designs for improving the coastal path, including improvements to the beach access, as well as links between the coast and the towns.
The exercise found overwhelming support for the £9m proposals, with more than three-quarters of people in favour of the designs that were presented. Comments on the draft have been used by the project team to help influence the plans and implementation of the scheme going forward.
Dundee City Council and Angus Council are working in partnership on the project. Work on design and feasibility will continue through the rest of this year and into mid-2021, but construction on sections of the route are expected to start soon.
Alan Ross, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “This level of investment in active travel and the positive changes it will bring about is unparalleled in the area’s history. “I am delighted that local people have lent their support to the coastal path proposals and have shared their views with us.
“Travelling on foot and by bike has never been more important for our health and wellbeing and the improvements to the route and its surroundings will encourage many more locals and visitors to be able to access and enjoy our stunning coastline in the coming years. I look forward to seeing the scheme develop and encourage local people to stay involved throughout the process.”
Mark Salmond, convener of Angus Council’s communities committee, added: “We have taken a step closer in our aspiration to upgrade the coastal path route which will see it opened up to many more people to walk and cycle whether for commuting or leisure.
“Angus and Dundee City councils have shown what effective partnership working can achieve and this sets a strong foundation as the project moves forward to its next stage.”
The Broughty Ferry to Monifieth stretch is being funded by Transport Scotland through the Places for Everyone programme which is overseen by Sustrans Scotland. The programme supports projects which make towns and cities friendlier and safer places for people to walk and cycle.
Thomas Haddock, infrastructure coordinator for Places for Everyone, said: “Active travel has firmly become centre stage of discussions around travel during the coronavirus pandemic, as significant numbers of people are choosing to walk and cycle for essential travel and daily exercise. The temporary measures that both councils will be implementing will make it easier and safer for local people to get around as we emerge from the pandemic.
“At the same time, they are making great strides to create better infrastructure for the future, as walking and cycling become the ‘new normal’ for many more people.”