Cyclists are being reminded that a popular traffic-free route between Airdrie and
Bathgate is closed, as an increasing number of people pedal to a dead-end. Sustainable transport charity Sustrans has received calls from cyclists attempting to get onto the former 14-mile route, which ran along a disused railway line.
The railway path formed part of the National Cycle Network Route 75 – a cross-Scotland route linking the Clyde Coast with the Firth of Forth – until last October when it closed as part of a £300 million project to reopen the railway.
Katharine Taylor, National Cycle Network Development Manager for Sustrans Scotland, said: “It is great to see more and more people getting out on their bikes.
"But because this is the first summer since the route between Airdrie and Bathgate closed, it is catching people out – seemingly anyone from day-trippers to experienced cyclists on a long-distance challenge.
“This route was extremely popular so we’d like to remind them once again that it is now blocked off rather than let people make a wasted journey or face a lengthy detour.
"We are putting up signs in Airdrie and Bathgate to let people know about the closure, but are unable to sign the whole diversion, so advise people to check the alternative routes suggested on our website before setting out.”
Network Rail will construct a new path close to the original Airdrie and Bathgate route,
which is scheduled for completion in December 2010.
Sustrans recommends cyclists and walkers use the towpaths of the Union and Forth and Clyde Canals as a cross-Scotland route. The canals are set to become Route 754 of the National Cycle Network.
The charity has also posted details of an alternative route to the south for walkers and cyclists during the route closure on an enhanced version of its online mapping at www.sustrans.org.uk