Major improvements to A81 Milngavie Road

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Improvements to a vital transport route are being driven forward in a bid to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use buses in Milngavie and Bearsden.

East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) has been awarded £700,000 over three years for the A81 Quality Bus Corridor by Transport Scotland’s Bus Investment Fund (BIF).

The award from the BIF - match-funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) - will be used to provide new bus shelters, real-time timetable information and bus priority measures on the A81 Milngavie Road.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of EDC’s development and regeneration committee, welcomed the funding.

He said: “This is excellent news and will help to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport along the A81.

“The funding will be used to reduce uncertainty over bus waiting times and cut down on journey times. It will also mean upgraded shelters.

“In addition, the innovative Sustainable Travel Hubs will act as interchanges for walking, cycling and public transport.

“As well as providing high-quality footway and cycle links to bus services, the transport hubs will also act as a gateway feature - improving access while giving a sense of identity and character to the area.”

The plans run in tandem with a pioneering scheme to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Milngavie town centre.

If traders vote for it, the BID will ensure a minimum of £500,000 is invested in Milngavie.

The decision lies with business-owners who are being balloted until March 17.

Coupled with the funding of £700,000 from Transport Scotland it would mean a double boost for the area.

Milngavie BID Project Manager Pauline Cameron believes it is a sign of good things to come - especially if there is a positive response to the BID ballot.

She said: “The A81 improvements will create a new gateway feature in Milngavie which will complement the BID’s own proposals to create ‘gateway features’ to the town centre, which will encourage people to visit and shop in the town centre.

“The transport hub is something we have incorporated into the Business Plan as integral to our measures to enhance the town centre.

“It’s important that local businesses are given a say in how the transport hub is designed and I’m sure they will be keen to get involved.

“The Milngavie businesses have been very proactive, creative and innovative as part of the BID process and are currently being balloted.

“If the vote is positive we have a plan which will inject a minimum of £500,000 into local improvements over the next five years.

“I hope further investment will come from other sources, including Eventsscotland and Lottery funding.

“All in all it means the future looks very bright for Milngavie town centre.”