Work is about to begin to transform public spaces along the route between Roseburn and the Union Canal.
This will create a ‘green corridor’ and cycleway and bringing disused areas back into public use.
Construction on the £12.5 million Roseburn to Union Canal Active Travel Route and Greenspace Improvements project will begin on 30 January, when site preparation starts, and is expected to last until April 2024.
The scheme is split into three sections – Sauchiebank Gardens, Duff Street Woodland and Dalry Community Park.
Funding for the project has been provided by Sustrans through its Places for Everyone programme, an active travel infrastructure fund backed by The Scottish Government, which helps deliver walking, wheeling and cycling improvements across the country.
The work will include two new bridges crossing over the Mid Calder railway line and over Dalry Road leading to Dalry Community Park, community gardens at Sauchiebank and Duff Street, and upgrades to the sports pitch and playpark at Dalry Community Park. These designs were developed in consultation with Dalry Primary School pupils.
The project will also provide a key link in Edinburgh’s active travel network, delivering a four metre wide pedestrian and cycle path connecting the North Edinburgh Path Network to Fountainbridge alongside new pedestrian crossings and access points.
The council has developed a comprehensive planting strategy and will be able to actively manage spaces which are currently underused. A great deal of the site is largely inaccessible woodland, and this project will help to create healthier and more diverse woodland with longer-term opportunities to improve its ecological value.
This will involve planting almost 5,000 woodland and semi-mature trees. Approximately 450 trees will be felled in order to deliver the project, including trees which have been identified as ash and would be removed as part of long-term maintenance planning.
Cllr Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “This project will transform the route between Roseburn and the Union Canal, where disused and inaccessible areas will become welcoming, green community spaces encouraging biodiversity and play.
“It will also plug a gap in the city’s active travel network by providing a high-quality pedestrian and cycle path between Fountainbridge and the extremely popular North Edinburgh Path Network, as well as leading to the City Centre West to East Link, which is currently under construction.
“We’ll do everything we can to minimise disruption over the coming year and we’ll continue to keep residents up to date as we progress the scheme.”
Roseburn to Union Canal’s final design builds on several years of engagement with the public and stakeholders and aligns with the City Mobility Plan in supporting people to walk, wheel, cycle and spend time in their local community, in turn contributing to the city’s net zero carbon goals.
Michael Melton, Grant Manager for Sustrans, said: “We’re delighted to see works now starting on the Roseburn to Union Canal project in Edinburgh. After several years of design and engagement with the local community, this transformative project will not only provide a vital connection for walking, wheeling, and cycling in the heart of the city, but will also serve as an accessible greenspace for everyone to enjoy.”
The project site will be fenced off from 6 February, and Dalry Community Park will also be closed from 6 February for the duration of construction.
Between 20 February and 23 March the two-lane section of the Western Approach Road, between Westfield Road and Dalry, will close so that safe construction work can begin. A diversion will be in place to help minimise disruption.
The section between the Dundee Street ramps and Lothian Road will remain open. Further information on changes to bus services can be found on Lothian’s website.