Pedestrian Paradise: Nithsdale’s Active Travel Path A Resounding Hit Among Locals

The recently completed Phase 1A of a comprehensive multi-stage project is gaining popularity, showcasing a traffic-free path that stretches from Penpont to the Drumlanrig access road.

The first phase of the project, which concluded construction recently, has already proven to be a hit among residents, emphasizing the growing enthusiasm for active travel.

Led by the Keir, Penpont, and Tynron Development Trust (KPTDT), this initial segment has successfully established a secure route for pedestrians and cyclists, effectively connecting Penpont and Thornhill.

Senga Greenwood from the Keir, Penpont, and Tynron Development Trust expressed her satisfaction, noting, “The path itself took just under two years for it to be built. This is Phase 1A but it is about four-fifths of the path so that will take us from Penpont or vice versa to Virginhall Wood.”

The completion of Phase 1A marks a significant milestone, highlighting the community’s dedication to fostering accessible and sustainable travel options. Senga further shared insights into the overwhelmingly positive community response, saying, ” It’s really exceeded our expectations.”

Beyond its practical purpose, the path is emerging as a hub for increased community engagement. Residents now enjoy a safe and accessible means to walk, cycle, and wheel, promoting not only physical activity but also fostering social interaction within the region.

A group out enjoying the new Active Path

As the project unfolds, it aims to ensure equal access to essential services and facilities.

Upon completion, the path is anticipated to offer convenient connectivity to retail and leisure amenities, medical services, and regional travel options, further enhancing the quality of life for residents.

Environmental considerations also play a crucial role in the project, with Phase 1A featuring hedge planting and the under-sowing of wildflowers along the path. These measures contribute to local biodiversity, creating a more appealing greenspace for the community.

The success of Phase 1A is attributed to the collaborative efforts of the community, volunteers, and key funding partners. The project has received £1,557,806 from the Scottish Government, allocated for the design and construction of the path through Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme, showcasing a commitment to sustainable and active travel initiatives.

Critical to the project’s success is the match funding secured from SWestrans, South of Scotland Enterprise, Dumfries and Galloway Council Communities Committee, Scottish and Southern Electricity Renewables, and Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company (ANCBC). This collective support reflects the shared vision of various stakeholders in enhancing local infrastructure for the benefit of all.

Senga highlighted its use by families, cyclists, and dog walkers. Notably, a wheelchair-bound resident shared how the path has positively transformed her life, providing a secure and enjoyable outdoor space.

The success of Phase 1A sets an optimistic tone for the subsequent stages of the project. The Keir, Penpont, and Tynron Development Trust, though modest in size, has demonstrated the transformative impact of collaborative initiatives, turning the active path into a community focal point.