KPT Development Trust’s Active travel Path on Track
By Support Team on 17/10/2022
KPT Development Trust’s Tracks and Trails Group are excited to announce that after three long years of planning, negotiating and fund-raising, construction on the first 2 km (Phase 1A) of the Penpont to Thornhill Active Travel Path. starting in Penpont and finishing at the Virginhall Plantation. Phase 1B extends from the plantation to Nith Bridge while Phase 1C continues from the bridgeto Gill road triangle where the Trust hands over the baton to the Thornhill Group Active Travel Group who hope to start their consultation period in the very near future.
“The need for a safe path to walk, cycle and wheel between Penpont and Thornhill has long been recognised” said Caroline Buck of the KPT Tracks and Trails Group, “particularly with the increased traffic on the road and the blind corners, near Penpont. As well as keeping people safe, this path will help fulfil our climate change pledge, by encouraging some to leave the car at home and others to save on bus fares. The health benefits both physical and mental of getting on our bicycles or putting on our walking boots are well documented and the path is accessible to both wheelchairs and mobility scooters”.
When the Trust was formed back in 2018, the Tracks and Trails Group was one of the first activity groups set up. They made contact with Sustrans and their Places for Everyone Fund which is supported by Transport Scotland provided the funding to allow the Trust to complete in-depth consultations with the community, all the design phases and help to buy the land for part of the path route. The Scottish Land Fund provided the rest of the funding for the land purchase. Some parts of the route are being leased by kind permission of Buccleuch Estates Limited, Church of Scotland and David Kirkpatrick.
“Without this funding, the path would still be a dream” explained Maureen Halkett, chair of KPT Development Trust, “but I believe we have used this funding in the best way possible and our consultant designers, TP&E have worked especially hard on our behalf to get us to this stage”.
The funding for the construction is coming from several grants. The major funder is Sustrans. The Tracks and Trails group have worked extremely hard to secure match funding from Swestrans, D & G Council – Communities Committee, SSE Energy Services,. SOSE (south of Scotland Enterprise) and ANCBC (Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company Ltd) for this first phase.
The link for the tender for the work is https://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/authority/authority_noticestatus.aspx?ID=706158 and the closing and time is 31st October 2022 at 12 noon.
The Trust is also looking for a project finance manager to ensure finances are available when required and funders expectations are met. Further information about this post is available from Maureen Halkett, chair, KPT Development Trust – email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 07765073913.