Active Travel Scotland

North Lanarkshire Council is asking residents for their views on how to encourage more people to get on their bikes for commuting, sport and fitness.

Following a tender process, Dutch company Royal HaskoningDHV Consultancy has been appointed to produce a plan for a proposed cycle route between Airdrie town centre, Eurocentral and Strathclyde Business Park at Bellshill.

The project is being co-ordinated by the company's office in England but will use its knowledge and experience of cycling in the Netherlands.

"In the Netherlands, cycling is a way of life with many people using their bike to travel to and from work as well as in their leisure time," explains Councillor Stephanie Muir, Vice Convener of the Planning and Transportation Committee.

"The country prioritises cycling as a form of transport with a network of cycle routes and facilities. Here in North Lanarkshire, we would like to use that experience to help us create a number of cycle routes from Airdrie town centre and the railway station through Eurocentral and Biocity to Newhouse Industrial Estate and on to Strathclyde Business Park.

"This would create a link through these business areas and open up a new way of getting to and from work for the many people who work there. Cycling is more and more popular now, thanks to the high profile of British athletes at the Olympics and the Tour de France, and it's a great way to get fit and enjoy the North Lanarkshire countryside."

North Lanarkshire Council's Regeneration Convener, Councillor David Fagan, played a pivotal role in securing the funding for the consultation. He added: "Creating cycle paths isn't just about social or leisure cycling, important though they are.

"This is about regeneration, reducing carbon emissions and allowing people to commute by bike from Airdrie to Eurocentral.

"As Strathclyde Partnership for Transport's North Lanarkshire board member, I had to persuade my colleagues to agree to fund the cost of the consultation and I am delighted. And of course as a local member for the area, it is a privilege to champion a local cause."

The council is keen to hear from local residents, as well as cyclists generally, about how it can encourage more people to take up cycling, as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For more details about the study or to comment on the consultation, please visit the North Lanarkshire Council Website.