A new active travel link between Ravenscraig and Craigneuk has been officially opened by the council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).
The 1km link runs south to north from Craigneuk, via “The Castings” housing development off Meadowhead Road, to the Regional Sports Facility and The Craig public park.
Designed for safe walking and cycling, the link has lighting and CCTV and there are seats at intervals along the route which has been planted with trees and wildflowers.
Natural features have been placed at intervals beside the link to provide opportunities for play and encourage children to explore nature.
Councillor Paul Di Mascio, Convener of the Enterprise, Growth and Fair Work Committee, said: “This active travel link allows people to walk, cycle or wheel between the facilities at Ravenscraig and the communities of Craigneuk and beyond.
“It creates more opportunities to reduce car use for leisure or work, helping reduce our carbon footprint and improve air quality. As the planting along the route grows, it will also create an attractive greenspace and enhance the local biodiversity.
“The link is another element in the regeneration of the Ravenscraig site, opening up access to the sports facility and the public park for people in the Craigneuk area.”
The project has been jointly funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and the Scottish Government, through their Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Place Based Investment Programme.
“This link at Ravenscraig is part of the council’s commitment to creating active travel routes in our communities to allow local people to walk, wheel and cycle easily and safely to school, work, leisure facilities and local services,” said Councillor Alan Masterton, Convener of the Environment and Place Committee.
“Active travel offers many benefits for residents and the environment, from increasing access to education and employment opportunities to reducing vehicle emissions and improving our health.”
The council is developing plans to extend the active travel route to run east to west between Craigneuk and the New College Lanarkshire Motherwell Campus. Subject to funding being available, this is due to be constructed during 2022/23.
Councillor Adam Smith, who represents North Lanarkshire Council on the SPT partnership said: “SPT is delighted that our capital programme funding has been able to support the Council in delivering this important new active travel route within one of Scotland’s largest regeneration sites. Providing good active travel routes is vitally important in encouraging people to travel in an environmentally-friendly way, be more active and provides people with a real alternative to using their cars.
“This investment will not only offer healthier and sustainable travel choices for residents and visitors to the local area but it will also help support the development and expansion of the site in future years.”
Construction work was carried out by Covanburn Contracts Ltd. As part of the community benefits element of the contract, the company has been working with Berryhill Primary School to help create a community garden within the playing field.