Safety measures will be stepped up at Balgray reservoir after a man became stuck in mud, councillors have been told – as they approved an extra £3m towards plans for a promenade.
Cllr Andrew Morrison, Conservative, asked East Renfrewshire Council officials what action had been taken after a “very serious” incident at Dams to Darnley Country Park earlier this month.
Emergency services were called to the reservoir on September 6 after reports of a person trapped in mud. Firefighters freed the man who was given a check-up by ambulance staff.
Cllr Morrison raised the issue as councillors considered whether to plug a £3m funding shortfall to allow an active travel plan for Aurs Road, including a promenade alongside the reservoir, to progress. Councillors agreed to provide the money.
He said he had a question about a “very serious incident at Dams to Darnley Country Park in which emergency services had to attend to rescue a gentleman who was at the reservoir”.
“I would like to ask, with us putting investment into the area to attract visitors, have we identified any safety measures which have to be put in place?”
A council official said Scottish Water, the council’s partners in the Aurs Road project, had “decided they are going to put up new signage”.
“Where the incident happened wasn’t an area where we were going to be doing any work, it was nearer Brock Burn,” she added. “But they’ve said they will put up new signage and more patrols.”
Another official said a member of council staff had been “on site when the incident happened and was able to call the emergency services”.
She added risk assessments had been carried out and there is “no increased risk from the boardwalk, which we are planning to construct as part of our designs”.
“Once these structures are built and in place, that becomes a live situation and we would review those risks at that time,” the official added.
“I would like to think that increased visitors to the area, more people out walking and cycling, all would add to lowering the risks. The area would be busy, more populated.”
Funding had been secured from Transport Scotland for the active travel part of the Aurs Road project, however money could not be carried over to the 2024/25 financial year. As work has been delayed, extra funding was needed from the council to cover a shortfall.
A new bid, which would claim back the money, has been submitted to Transport Scotland, which has said the project will get “priority consideration” in future, council officials reported.
Construction is set to start in late 2023/early 2024 and last for 12 months. Councillors also approved a lease between the council and Scottish Water when they met on Thursday.
The 120-year agreement will allow the construction of the promenade on Scottish Water-owned land. Under the deal, a £1 per year rent would be payable to Scottish Water.
The overall Aurs Road project, designed to improve connections between Newton Mearns and Barrhead, is funded by the £1bn City Deal, an investment of £500m each from the UK and Scottish governments in the Glasgow City Region.