The first part of the new Kilmadock Community Plan is complete, with actions that can improve walking, cycling and public transport locally. Here Neil Fergusson, Development Officer at Kilmadock Development Trust, introduces the Sustaining Choices action plan.

Last year, Kilmadock was selected as one of six communities to take part in PAS’s (Planning Aid Scotland) Sustaining Choices project. The aim was to create an action plan that answers the question: what walking, cycling and public transport facilities do we need? PAS has now completed their work (thanks to the input of those attending events and completing surveys), so what is the answer?

The local path network for walking, wheeling and cycling needs to be expanded. First and foremost, a new, safe crossing over the River Teith but also joining up existing paths to create more circular routes. There is also a need for paths to neighbouring communities. The planned Sustrans route to Callander is top of that list (designs are expected later this year), but connections to Blairdrummond, Thornhill and even along the Carse to Stirling could follow.

When thinking of active travel and paths, maintenance is important to ensure they are accessible all year round. So too is safety, enforcement of existing traffic law, including speed limits and pavement parking, can improve the experience of walking, wheeling or cycling.

For public transport, in short, more buses are needed. Beyond the reliability of the existing 59 service, the timetabled frequency could be improved, particularly in evenings and weekends. A new service to Dunblane is also required; if successful, this could be extended to Thornhill and Bridge of Allan. A potential for shared transport whether car sharing, a car club or bike hire also exists. There are providers and schemes already operating that offer a chance to test these initiatives without significant start-up costs.

The above is just a summary, in total there are thirty-one different actions that together could improve walking, cycling and public transport locally. Inevitably some are more challenging than others, but all are absolutely deliverable. Indeed many of the actions are things that other communities already have. 

We’re all aware that government policies (whether national or local) wants us to travel more sustainably, this new action plan set outs how that could be done in our community. The community can define the problems and recommend solutions, but we need the support and investment of government to make actions (and their policies) a reality.

Neil Fergusson

Development Officer, Kilmadock Development Trust