FUNDING has been secured for a new cycle lane between Houston and Bridge of Weir to give children a safer way of getting to school.

Renfrewshire Council has confirmed that the initial design process for the path is underway and local residents would be consulted on its final design.

Members of Houston Community Council have been urging the council to install a path between the villages so that pupils attending Gryffe High have an alternative means of travel to public transport.

Councillor Natalie Don, who represents Bridge of Weir and is a former Gryffe High pupil, said she was “very happy” that funding has now been secured for the initial design work. 

“A safe route between Bridge of Weir and Houston is something local groups and villagers have been crying out for and this is a positive first step towards achieving this,” she told The Gazette.

“Children and young people from Bridge of Weir should be able to feel safe walking or cycling to Gryffe High School and with social distancing now in force for the foreseeable future this is even more relevant.

“As a former pupil of Gryffe, I walked to and from school along Houston Road but I would not have had the confidence to cycle on the road itself. A safer path here could be exactly what children need to encourage them onto their bikes to travel to school.”

Councillor James MacLaren added: “It is very pleasing to hear vital funding has been secured for this potential cycle lane, which can help boost the link between these communities.

“I have lobbied several times for this cycle lane to become a reality and this is a positive step forward for these plans, but we are still only at the design stage, so the creation will take a lot longer, which will disappoint many, including myself.

“It is welcome the council have committed to a consultation, which I hope will fully engage with the relevant communities, as all too often cycle lane plans are carried out without proper feedback.”

A council spokesperson said: “Once a design has been created, the local community will be consulted on it.”

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