‘Active travel’ route to be removed from funding bid

Plans for an off-road 'active travel' route between Tarbert and Kennacraig Ferry Terminal are likely to be removed from the proposed bid to the Levelling Up Fund.
Plans for an off-road 'active travel' route between Tarbert and Kennacraig Ferry Terminal are likely to be removed from the proposed bid to the Levelling Up Fund. 

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A proposed ‘active travel’ route linking Tarbert with Kennacraig should be removed from a council bid for UK Government funding, according to authority officials.

The off-road alternative to the A83 trunk road, linking the centre of Tarbert village with the ferry terminal for Islay, had been put before Argyll and Bute Council at a recent seminar as part of the proposed bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

However, council officials now believe that land negotiations mean that the project will not be able to meet deadlines for bids to the fund.

Councillors – who have been asked to note that alternative funding is being pursued for the project – were due to discuss the proposal at the council’s full meeting yesterday (Thursday).

Executive director Kirsty Flanagan said in a report ahead of the meeting: ‘Members were advised at the seminar held in March this year that the Tarbert to Kennacraig active travel route was being considered for inclusion within the bid, which would provide a safe off-road alternative to the busy A83 trunk load, linking Tarbert with the Kennacraig Ferry.

‘Officers have looked at the design of the route and land ownership permissions, and have concluded that this element will not be deliverable within the UK Government’s timescales as set out in their guidance.’

A final report on the bid to the Levelling Up Fund will go before the full council at its final meeting before summer recess on Thursday, June 30.

A project to deliver a cycle path between Helensburgh and Dumbarton is also recommended for removal from the bid, while the report warns that the idea of introducing electric or hydrogen-powered buses to the Helensburgh and Lomond area, also included in the original outline bid published earlier this year, may have to be dropped on cost grounds.

The council plans to make two bids to the Levelling Up Fund – a regeneration bid for up to £20 million, and a transport bid for up to £50 million.