RENFREWSHIRE Council is being urged to develop a cycle lane between Houston and Bridge of Weir to give children a safer way of getting to lessons when schools reopen in August.

Members of Houston Community Council want a path to be installed between the villages so that pupils attending Gryffe High have an alternative means of travel to public transport.

Their plan has been backed by local councillors James MacLaren, Natalie Don and Scott Kerr.

The suggestion is for the cycle lane to run parallel to Houston Road, which connects the two villages.

Councillor Don, who represents Bridge of Weir and is a former Gryffe High pupil, said developing the cycle path is “a no-brainer.”

She added: “I have asked council officers to consider putting in a bid to the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People Fund for a cycle lane. If this is not possible, we must explore other options.

“When schools return, it is likely pupils and parents will be less willing to use public or school-provided transport. Active travel is something we should encourage but it is important that the right infrastructure is there.

“As a former pupil at Gryffe High who walked along Houston Road, I would not have had the confidence to cycle on the road. If cycle lanes could be created here, that may be exactly what some kids need to encourage them onto their bikes.”

Councillor MacLaren, who also represents Bridge of Weir, said he has previously lobbied for the cycle path but believes there is now “an ideal opportunity” to look at the project again. 

“With rightful concerns over travelling on public transport, pupils need alternatives when returning to Gryffe High and this connecting cycle path would be a positive step forward,” he added.

“I have contacted council officials to look at the costs associated with the building of the path and offered to help with fundraising efforts too.”

The Spaces for People programme offers support to temporary infrastructure projects which will make it easier for people to walk or cycle.

Councillor Kerr, whose ward covers Houston, said: “We need to encourage safe forms of transport.”

A council spokesman said it is looking at ways to support “active travel.”

He added: “The road suggested by the councillors narrows significantly, which makes it more difficult to accommodate a cycle lane and may therefore require a more permanent solution than the fund provides, but this is under consideration.”

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