The first phase of a £300,000 upgrade to one of St Andrews most popular walking routes is now complete.
The main path of the Lade Braes through the heart of the town has been widened and resurfaced.
And a new section of path has been created at Hallow Hill following a “desire line” made by walkers.
In addition, more benches have been added and existing benches refurbished, while drainage has also been improved.
While some residents initially feared the work could put pedestrians at risk by attracting more cyclists, Fife Council said it was essential due to erosion, uneven surfaces and flooding.
A second phase in the summer will see the laying of a gravel top surface and new lighting.
Lade Braes work long overdue
St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said the work was long overdue.
“I’ve been pushing for the upgrade works to be carried out since 2017,” he said.
“I’m really pleased to see the significant progress and the completion of phase one of the works.
“The path has now been fully reopened for public use and whilst the decorative top surface, which will be similar to the paving surface around the Royal and Ancient clubhouse, and lighting have still to be installed, the general feedback I’ve received has been very positive.
“A few hurdles have had to be overcome and the works have been much-delayed but the result is a much improved surface that’s more accessible to all users.”
The Lade Braes was originally a 12th century watercourse that fed the Augustinian Priory in the grounds of St Andrews Cathedral.
It was used to flush the monastic latrines and powered the priory mill.
However, it is now part of the Fife Pilgrim Way, which follows one of the routes taken by countless medieval pilgrims making their way to Scotland’s holy spot.
It is also very popular with both locals and visitors to St Andrews.
Funding for St Andrews Lade Braes upgrade
The £300,000 project includes £100,000 of funding from Fife Council.
A further £50,000 was provided by the St Andrews Common Good Fund and Sustrans contributed £150,000.
The work, which began in October, is being carried out by local contractor T&N Gilmartin.