Transformation of key road expected to make active travel safe for all

Inclusive cycle charity welcomes the redevelopment of Aurs Road in East Renfrewshire.

Work to upgrade a key road link in East Renfrewshire is expected to transform accessible, active travel in the area.

Aurs Road, which links Newton Mearns and Barrhead, has until now been a windy, single carriageway with no pavements or cycle paths – making it dangerous for walkers and cyclists.

Ongoing construction work will transform it into a straighter, safer road with protected cycle paths and an active travel route overlooking Balgray Reservoir.

It will also make Dams to Darnley Country Park more accessible, described as a “hidden gem” by East Renfrewshire council leader Owen O’Donnell.

Construction will transform it into a straighter, safer road with protected cycle paths.STV News

“This project will allow people to really enjoy the reservoir, the park and fresh air here, without having to worry about their safety,” he told STV News.

“The road is currently quite windy – there’s no paths for people to walk safely, no safe path for cycles either. So this will straighten the road, strengthens a weak bridge – allowing buses to use the road as well.”

Led by East Renfrewshire Council, the ambitious £22.7m project is funded through £12.7m from the Glasgow City Region City Deal – made up of £5.5m in funding by both the UK and Scottish governments and £1.7m from East Renfrewshire Council. 

Aurs Road is a key road link between Barrhead and Newton Mearns. STV News

An additional £8m in funding is provided by Transport Scotland through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme.

The walking and cycling charity says redevelopment projects like this one are crucial for people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

“The benefits of projects like this – that put in protected cycleways and improve pavements for pedestrians – not only makes it easier for them to get around for their everyday journeys, but it also brings significant health benefits,” said Karen McGregor, director of Sustrans Scotland.

The road is expected to reopen in December. STV News

The upgrade will also make cycling in the area accessible to more people, of all abilities.

Barrhead charity IncludeMe2 Club works with people who have additional support needs, disabilities and mental health conditions.

As part of its day-to-day, the charity runs a cycling club for its members – helping them to get fresh air and exercise, despite their level of ability.

The project will make Aurs Road accessible to all. STV News

Project manager Steven Rutherford told STV News the project would be a boon to IncludeMe2 members.

“It’s really a fantastic opportunity for us; it’s a 2km walking and wheeling roadway that will give us access to Newton Mearns and Balgray Reservoir,” he said.

“It opens up cycling to people of all abilities, of all ages…it just opens up a massive new network of paths – walking, wheeling, cycling, scooting.”

Members of the club will benefit from the redevelopment. STV News

The Aurs Road redevelopment project began in January, and the road is expected to reopen in December this year.

Contractor Graham Construction Ltd has been appointed to carry out the construction and footage captured by Drone Scotland illustrates the amount of work already completed.

Diversion routes while construction is ongoing are in place via Stewarton Road, Nitshill Road and Darnley Road.

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