Helensburgh to Garelochhead Active Travel Route
Argyll and Bute Council
A functional, educational, and artistic reimagined active travel route
Page\Park was engaged in 2021 as part of a multi-disciplinary design team, led by Civic Engineers, to develop a redesigned active travel route between Helensburgh and Garelochhead. The project is funded by Argyll and Bute Council, with the support of Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme, which is funded by Transport Scotland.
At a distance of approximately 12km, the proposed route connects Helensburgh with Garelochhead, passing through a number of settlements along the way. The aim of the project is to create a safer and more joined up travel facility, with improved connections into the community. The walking, wheeling, and cycling route has been designed to be as continuous and easy-to-use as possible, with minimal disruption to existing roads and transport services.
Page\Park have led the development of placemaking on the project, considering the potential long and short term opportunities for improving the quality of environment and ‘place’, and the benefits these can achieve for both locals and commuters alike.
The history of Gare Loch and the surrounding area is of national significance. This story, of the area’s development and the people who shaped it, can be represented by a few reoccurring themes. The block colours and sheen of paddle steamers, sail boats, and steam trains; the weathered textures and pliability of sheet metals, bent and welded to meet the demands of industry; and the delicate motifs and patterns of architecture, fabrics, and language, are all characteristics that embody the heritage of the place, and which we seek to preserve through design and placemaking.
We recognise the demand for new cycle facilities and attractive public places along the proposed route. Our proposals seek to deliver functional, educational, and artistic elements that elevate the active travel route, and bring together commuters, tourists and locals in a shared space.
The project has been through two rounds of public consultation, including a ‘route relay’ cycle along the full route in September 2021. During the day we stopped at important locations to meet and chat with people about the project, including the children of Rhu Primary School, who shared their perspective on what they would and wouldn’t like to see included.