Access improvements unveiled along Broxburn walking, wheeling and cycling route

Canal side improvements made to Port Buchan enable walkers, wheelers and cyclists to make the most of green and blue space.

A partnership between Scottish Canals, Sustrans, Leader and West Lothian Council has seen over £157,000 invested into traffic calming measures and canal side improvements at Port Buchan, Broxburn.

Following a 2019 local residents survey conducted by West Lothian LEADER which highlighted the need for improvements on Port Buchan road and the canal coupled with increased usage during the Covid-19 pandemic inspired the organisations to work together to deliver improvements.

Work began on road and canal side greenspace improvements in early March 2021, with work being completed by mid-April. Road users and pedestrians have benefited from new traffic calming measures as well as resurfacing of Port Buchan road. In addition, active travellers can now make the most of the road with improved surface and also the canal side greenspace.

“Thanks to our partnership with Sustrans, Leader & West Lothian Council, Port Buchan is now safer and more accessible than ever before. Whether you are taking to our canals by boot, bike or boat the improvements have benefited not only the local community, but also those traveling along our network.”

Scottish Canals' Chief Operating Officer, Richard Millar

The works have made the area more accessible to walkers, wheelers and cyclists enabling improved access to National Cycle Network Route 754 along the Union Canal. Those looking to cut their carbon footprint and travel by boot or bike are able to benefit not only from the improvements to the canal towpath but embrace nature along the improved canal side greenspace.

Tom Bishop, Head of Network Development at Sustrans Scotland, said: “Sustrans want the National Cycle Network to be open, safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy. Projects like this are a great example of working together to make this a reality.

“These improvements at Port Buchan improve access to a key section of the Network for everyone choosing to walk, wheel and cycle, and we’ve been delighted to see such a positive reaction from the community.”

“Traffic-free paths like Route 754 provide great opportunities for local people and visitors alike to make greener, healthier journey choices. We hope the improvements encourage more people to access and explore the beautiful, canal-side route.”

The improvements make Port Buchan more accessible to the users of the National Walking and Cycling Network, which includes the National Cycle Network, who made 145.1m trips along the network in 2019 spending over £2bn and supporting over 27,000 jobs.

Des Martin, chair of West Lothian LEADER Local Action Group said “We know how important green spaces have been to people during the coronavirus pandemic and we hope that that the improvements made here will be a big  benefit to the local community”.

Councillor John McGinty, who represents West Lothian Council on the LEADER Local Action Group said: “I’m delighted than West Lothian LEADER and West Lothian Council have supported these superb improvement works at Port Buchan in Broxburn.

“The Union Canal is important to the local community for both leisure and transport, and these changes will help ensure it is accessible for everyone.”

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Scott Lamond at Scottish Canals on 07976524446 or email Scott.Lamond@scottishcanals.co.uk

Calhounnah Bain at Scottish Canals on 07917647108 or email Calhounnah.Bain@scottishcanals.co.uk

Notes to the editor:

About Scottish Canals

New microsite https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/ycw2020/ was created by Scottish Canals in celebration of 2020/21 Year of Coasts and Waters. The site contains information on how to enjoy each of Scotland’s canals by boat, bike or boot.

For information on how to book a boating holiday on Scotland’s canals, including details of hire boat operators, customers are advised to visit: https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/activities/boating/

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Union, Monkland, Forth & Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian Canals. As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for 251 bridges, 212 buildings, 256 locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and 19 water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, Scotland’s canals are now recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year.

For more information, visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter

About the project

  • Port Buchan Road is a Scottish Canals asset and has a history over many years of needing repairs e.g. potholes.
  • Scottish Canals engaged with WLC and Sustrans to see if there could be a collective improvement on the vehicle impact on the road.
  • Scottish Canals employed consultants Transport, Planning & Engineering (TP&E) who have carried out canal towpath improvement designs for Scottish Canals in the past.
  • TP&E were directly employed and funded by Sustrans.
  • TP&E did some options on road and canal side greenspace improvements and these were presented to Scottish Canals as client and possible funders.
  • Option for road traffic calming, resurfacing and canal side green space were agreed.
  • Sustrans, Leader, West Lothian funded the project to circa £157k in total.
  • Scottish Canals procurement procured a delivery contractor.
  • Works commenced March 2021 and will complete circa 10 April 2021

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