Perth and Kinross Council to conduct feasibility study into active travel route across River Tay

Perth and Kinross Council is set to conduct a feasibility study into creating a walking and cycling bridge in Perth.

The bridge would provide a safe active travel connection for cyclists going across the River Tay to and from North Inch.

Conservative Strathmore councillor Colin Stewart put forward the proposal at a hybrid meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s strategic policy and resources committee on this week reports the Daily Record.

He proposed allocating £25,000 from the council’s revenue budget to support a feasibility study.

The study would explore options for an active travel bridge going from around the Upper Springland campus on Isla Road in Perth across the Tay to North Inch.

He told councillors this would create a “safe cycle route” and added: “It would actually connect all the way up to Scone, so rather than coming down the A94 and through Bridgend there would be a separate dedicated walking and cycling route all the way from Scone to the city centre or at least the North Inch.”

Labour Carse of Gowrie councillor Alasdair Bailey seconded the proposal – beating Cllr Eric Drysdale to it.

The Perth City Centre SNP councillor said: “It’s a relatively rare occurrence when I find myself in complete support of Cllr Stewart’s views. However, on this occasion I am.”

Cllr Drysdale added: “I think extending cycling and active travel routes in the way proposed would be highly advantageous to the health and wellbeing of the people of Perth city and the wider area.”https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/widgets/established/general?fixedheight&webreachnews&theme=dailyrecord

PKC’s former active travel ambassador Strathmore Liberal Democrat councillor Lewis Simpson has long campaigned for the bridge.

He told the chamber: “Anything that involves increased active travel always meets with my approval. This is a project that’s been about 20 to 25 years in the making and has met a number of obstacles along the way.

“I think to have an independent feasibility study would be extremely helpful.

“I think it would also be helpful that it is connected on to other routes as there has been a tendency to allow small bits of improved infrastructure which in effect lead nowhere and to my mind are dangerous.”

The committee unanimously agreed to incorporate the minor amendment as part of an update to the 2021/22 revenue budget.

Cllr Lyle added: “Hopefully as part of the process we will look at funding opportunities from others.

“My concern is funding issues given we were promised significant funding for the green corridor along the Dunkeld Road etc and that has diminished as time has worn on so it’s something we should be cautious about. But I welcome the amendment.”

After the meeting, Cllr Stewart said: “The proposal for a walking and cycling bridge across the Tay in this area has been around for decades, so I was really pleased to be able to secure this commitment that will finally get the project up and running again.

“The proposal isn’t just for a bridge however – this would link in to an active travel route that would mean people could come all the way from Scone and join Cycle Route 77 without having to come down the A94 and through Bridgend.”

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