Falkirk Council has won £20 million worth of Levelling Up Funding which will help create a new ‘iconic’ bridge of its Westfield roundabout.
The bridge will have four ‘platforms’ that will take cyclists and pedestrians safely across the major roads that meet at Westfield. They are due to become dual carriageway after an upgrade.
The roundabout is a key link between Falkirk and Grangemouth, close to the new Forth Valley College, Helix Park and the planned Gateway project which is expected to bring more shops and housing, reports the Daily Record.
The new aerial platforms aim to take pedestrians and cyclists away from vehicles while keeping the traffic flowing below.
The leader of Falkirk Council has welcomed the news, saying it will help drive the area’s economic recovery after the pandemic.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council said: “The announcement of £20 million of support for delivery of the upgrade to the Westfield roundabout and construction of this iconic new bridge is very welcome news for the Falkirk area.
“It builds up the programme of works we are preparing in our Investment Zone and will complement a series of measures which will help drive forward our area’s economy following the pandemic.
“The new roundabout and pedestrian and cycle bridge will ensure that people are safe when crossing at this key junction, while enabling better connection for active travel between key sites such as the Helix Park, Falkirk Community Stadium and Forth Valley College’s new campus.
“The roads will be widened to accommodate increasing traffic and each of the four ‘rings’ will provide an elevated platform to view the local area and safe way of getting around without disrupting traffic.
“The Westfield area is a natural hub with the connections to the motorway network vital for our area’s economy, particularly at Grangemouth as well as a place for visitors with the Helix nearby as well as the proposed Falkirk Gateway site and the new Forth Valley college.
“This grant funding will help boost the ambitious investment plans we have for our area and will be a real boost to our economic recovery.”
As well as the Levelling Up cash, funding for the project will also come from the Scottish Government allowing Falkirk Council to retain business rates from economic growth, said the Daily Record report.
The Westfield project is one of eight in Scotland that will share investment of £172 million of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, including the redevelopment of Inverness Castle and a new marketplace in Aberdeen City Centre.