A new path for pedestrians and cyclists is open between Craigneuk and New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell Campus at Ravenscraig.
It connects, at Meadowhead Bridge, with the existing active travel route to The Craig public park and Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility.
Lighting, seating and CCTV has been installed along the route, with trees being planted on the embankment in the autumn.
The project has been jointly funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, the Scottish Government, through their Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Place Based Investment Programmes and by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The path runs close to and through the Ravenscraig Railway Sidings Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, which provides valuable habitat to a number of animals and plants including a nationally rare plant, the Yellow Bird’s-Nest Monotropa Hypopitys. New tree planting, together with habitat management of the new and existing woodland areas, will enhance the habitat for Yellow Bird’s-Nest and other protected species.
The lighting along the path is designed to minimise the negative impact of artificial lighting on biodiversity, particularly nocturnal animals, including insects, birds, and bats. The lights are a different colour to regular street lighting, giving a red glow, to help reduce light pollution and recreate natural lighting conditions.
“This new path and the first part of the route which opened last year allows people to walk, cycle or wheel between the facilities at Ravenscraig, the communities of Craigneuk and beyond,” said Councillor Alex McVey, Convener of the Enterprise and Fair Work Committee.
“It gives residents the option of active travel on short, everyday journeys for leisure or work, offering environmental, health and wellbeing benefits.”
SPT chair Stephen Dornan said: “SPT is delighted to support this active travel network improvements in the Ravenscraig area, which SPT has supported with £1.25 million over the last two years. This investment is critical to ensuring local communities in the vicinity, and surrounding it, have high quality, sustainable alternatives to car travel and better accessibility to facilities, jobs and all amenities available.”
A network of active travel links is being created across North Lanarkshire to allow people to walk, wheel and cycle easily and safely to school, work, leisure facilities and local services.
Russell Wilkie, Development Director at Ravenscraig Limited: “This is a great day in the realisation of the vision for Ravenscraig as a sustainable community where people can live, work and play. With the Sports Facility, new park and growing network of paths we are enabling active living while supporting nature and biodiversity.”
The path was constructed by Covanburn Contracts Limited, who delivered a range of community benefits as part of the contract including work placements for pupils at Our Lady’s and Brannock High Schools and a site visit by pupils from Our Lady and St Francis Primary School in Carfin to learn about construction. The company also helped create a community garden at Berryhill Primary School, which opened this summer.