Rigside cyc-ed for new walking, cycling and environmental improvements
New items help keep residents active
Bikes, helmets, pumps, lights, new benches, a mapboard, a bike rack and a solar powered bin, are the range of new items acquired through the recent Make Your Way Rigside project, in a bid to improve local walking and cycling opportunities, as well as the local environment.
The items were celebrated in an Active Travel launch attended by 22 residents, including Rigside Primary School pupils and staff, Councillor Mark Horsham, Councillor Colin McGavigan, and representatives from South Lanarkshire Council and Healthy Valleys, on Tuesday 26 April. Hazel Pringle, the Healthy Valleys Active Travel Officer was also on hand to offer free eBike trials to members of the local community.
All Primary School pupils took part in Police Scotland Road Safety workshops and had the chance to get their bikes security marked as part of the day. Prizes were awarded to four pupils who took part in a competition to design a poster promoting the new benches.
A total of 25 new and reconditioned bikes as well as pumps and lights were gifted to Rigside Primary School pupils as part of the Scottish Cycling Rock Up and Ride and Make Your Way programmes (the latter in partnership with the North Lanarkshire Council Restorative Justice team), including two bikes for use by teachers to help in the deliverability of Bikeability in future years.
The community and Primary School pupils voted for the installation of five new benches as a priority that would help people walk more for short journeys locally. A solar powered bin – a first for rural Clydesdale – was added to the list after discussions and a community litter pick highlighted an issue with littering. The benches and bin were funded by South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund and installed by South Lanarkshire Council Grounds Services.
Locations for a new active travel mapboard, highlighting existing routes and their level of difficulty and bike rack were included in the consultation. The bike rack was installed with the assistance of South Lanarkshire Council. The active travel map can be viewed at www.makeyourwayclydesdale.com
The activities follow a 4-week Scottish Cycling Rock Up and Ride programme at Chatelherault Country Park for P5-7s, a Bikeability level 1 programme for P4s earlier in the academic year and a Community Cycling Day in October last year. South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Trust and Healthy Valleys hope to set up an after-school cycling club starting this month to help keep up momentum built through the programmes.
Ali Mechan, Headteacher at Rigside Primary School says, “the development work done in partnership with the Make Your Way team this term allowed for our pupils to become actively involved in the consultation process to discuss their local community and explore options for improving the village of Rigside. This was a genuine and authentic opportunity to use pupil voice to influence positive change that has resulted in the benches, solar powered bin and bike rack being installed, and this has tied in nicely with the ongoing work we are doing in the school around relationships and wellbeing.”
“Our pupils have talked enthusiastically about their village and how these additions have made it better and by being involved in this project they have strengthened their sense of community spirit.”
Make Your Way is supported by Paths for All’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places, Strathclyde Passenger Transport and South Lanarkshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund. It is managed by Rural Development Trust’s Community Action Lanarkshire programme. It is part of a year on year programme, running since 2016, which targets sustainable travel in rural Lanarkshire and has included community mapping and the development of Sustainable Travel Action Plans and Feasibility Studies to date.
The programme ran in Crawford and Elvanfoot and Glespin this year as well as Rigside and Douglas Water, with Crawford and Elvanfoot voting to progress a Speed Reduction and Pedestrian Safety Feasibility Study, and Glespin voting to progress a Glespin - Douglas Active Travel Pathway Feasibility Study. Active travel mapping is due to take place in Boghead, Blackwood, Kirkmuirhill and Lesmahagow this year as part of the new Make Your Way programme.