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WATCH: New video shows how Arbroath could be transformed by cycle path plans – but not everyone is happy

arbroath cycle path
An earlier example of how Arbroath could transformed as part of Places For Everyone funding.

A new video offers the clearest indication yet of how Arbroath could be transformed under contentious cycle plans.

The new visualisation by project consultants Arcadis shows in detail how the road network will look if the proposals go ahead.

The dual carriage way will be reduced to two lanes to make more space for walkers and cyclists through the A Place for Everyone scheme.

The project is a collaboration between Angus Council, Arcadis and active travel charity Sustrans.

The video also shows how much green space could be created along the road to help the local environment.

Previous public events only showed still images of how the area might look.

You can watch the video here:

However, not everyone in Arbroath is happy about the cycle path plans.

Taking to social media, residents aired their concerns.

One source of contention is the removal of the roundabout near the Ladyloan Primary School entrance, which is to be replaced by a traffic light system.

Paul Downie, second from left, discussing the plans at a public consultation event last month.
Paul Downie, second from left, discussing the plans at a public consultation event last month.

Gillis McLean questioned how “funnelling” four lanes of traffic down to two and having cars stop at traffic lights – where idle engines emit fumes – is “helping pollutants”.

The video states the new design will provide “easy access” in all directions at the junction for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

Belinda Brown is worried the proposed green spaces will be left to rot.

She said: “I’m wondering where the cost of the upkeep of all these green areas is (going to) come from.

“It’s not as though the rest of the town is looking great in the green areas we’ve got,  weeds overrunning everywhere as it is.”

A man cycling in Arbroath
A man cycling in Arbroath during the trial lane last year.

Not every social media comment was negative, however.

Paul Valentine said it “looks great”.

Findlay Stephen said: “I think it will be amazing.”

Arbroath cycle path video ‘widely praised’

Paul Downie is senior project officer with Sustrans.

He feels the video does a “fantastic job” of showing how the area could look.

“It’s been widely praised and provides further context, while demonstrating how the landscaped areas may look.

“Previous, current and ongoing public engagement will further firm up the design of these areas during the detailed design phase.”

Councillor Lois Speed.
Councillor Lois Speed.

Arbroath councillor Lois Speed also praised the latest plans, saying the video “really helps bring the project to life”.

“It gives an overview of how the landscape could look with the planting of trees and wildflowers to aid biodiversity.

“This could provide a welcoming gateway into Arbroath.”

What about emergency vehicles?

Emergency vehicle access was a major concern after temporary cycle lanes were erected in June 2021.

During the trial period, a video went viral of an ambulance trapped behind a car at traffic lights.

At a recent public event, Arbroath residents were told this would not be an issue in the final design.

This is because while it will be a two-lane road, it will actually be wide enough for three lanes.

In an emergency, cars can edge to the side of the road to allow vehicles to drive down the middle.

As the road currently has a central verge, this wasn’t possible to demonstrate in last year’s trial.

What else may be changed under the Arbroath cycle path plans?

The video shows how a redesign of the East Grimsby junction will “create a space that acts as a gateway” to the “historical town centre”.

The “attractive open space” will feature artwork and signage and create more footfall for businesses, according to the video.

Brothock Bridge – described as a “key connection between the High Street and Burnside Road in the video – will be redesigned to “prioritise pedestrians”.

This will create a “safe space” for walkers moving between the town centre and the bus and train stations.

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