Meeting called on Go Mearns cycle project

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A bike path near Capilrig Burn has been given the green light as part of a wider cycling initiative — but some Newton Mearns neighbours are unhappy about a lack of consultation from East Renfrewshire Council.

The council has secured funding from Sustrans, Paths for All and SPT to implement Go Newton Mearns!, a 2015/16 project promoting cycling away from main roads.

The Go! Active Travel Network promises to improve links between Barrhead Road, Eastwood High, Crookfur and St Cadoc’s primaries, with work commencing this month.

An ERC spokeswoman said: “This path will provide an excellent walking and cycling route. For schoolchildren it will offer a safe, off-road route in the Crookfur area, and it will alleviate some of the problems with traffic congestion that we have around schools.”

But for Newton Mearns resident Suzanne Bain, not enough information has been provided to those who live near the woodland leg of the journey.

She told The Extra: “A leaflet was posted through a few doors, poorly outlining plans for a cycle path. It involves a 2.5m wide tarmac path with solar lighting, timber bridges, subsequent tree felling...yet no consultation with residents has taken place, and work is scheduled to start.”

She continued: “Anti-social behaviour in the woodland is rife, and the police and fire brigade have been called to the site many times — building a path will only serve to encourage this behaviour with easier access.

“I also have concerns about the environmental destruction, for the creation of a tarmac path which no resident has asked for.”

Following complaints, a meeting between Newton Mearns neighbours and East Ren Council has been arranged.

ERC’s spokeswoman responded: “The walkway is already an informal path and formalising it is likely to lead to less anti-social behaviour by opening up access.

“The environment has been fully considered and incorporated — it will be monitored to make sure no damage occurs.

“We will be meeting representatives of the residents this week, and hope to stress the benefits of the pathway and the wider project, and allay any concerns.”