exciting project involving many West Fife communities and a leading international
artist is getting off the ground.
For several years now, cyclists, walkers and ramblers have been making
use of the 11-mile route of the former railway track that runs between
Dunfermline and Alloa.
While it has undoubtedly been popular with cyclists covering the ground
at a reasonable pace, some walkers and others felt it needed some improvements.
For one, those pushing wheelchairs would welcome a seat or two where they
could take a breather and enjoy the surroundings.
The drive to enhance the route has gained considerable momentum recently,
the major project being headed by highly enthusiastic Fife Council planner
Theresa Constable, based in Development Services.
Recent investment by Fife Council has secured big improvements to the
path surface already to ensure accessibility by all.
'Taking The sTrain', is now very much a partnership project. Beginning
with discussions between the local environment Pathfinder Group, based
in Oakley, and Fife Council Development Services, it very quickly grew
to incorporate many other council services, Sustrans (the national cycling
network organisation), and Clackmannan Council.
Sustrans designated it Route 76 of their national network in the late
1990s after Fife Council secured the section from British Rail.
Taking The sTrain will also improve access points to and from neighbouring
villages. The crux of the project success will be community involvement
on both sides of the border.
Schools, children groups and many other local organisations are being
made aware of the project. Various organisations and individuals involved
will be working closely with their counterparts in Clackmannanshire.
Graham Fagen was commissioned as lead artist to develop a 'theme' to unify
He has been given a 'shopping list' of definite 'wants and desires' by
local people but thereafter his artistic flair is being given free rein
to give route 76 its own unique character.
Theresa said local schools had been informed and pupils would work with
the artists, one possible idea being to have 'school gateways' along the
Costs of around £240,000 are being met by Fife Council, Fife Environment
Trust, EDDF, Hanson Environment Fund, 'Transforming Your Space,' Scottish
Natural Heritage and the Scottish Arts Council.