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.
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.”