Improved transport connections along the White Cart river between Paisley town centre and Scotland’s manufacturing innovation district are a step closer after receiving planning consent.
Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Climate Change Board have given the green light to a series of new routes and links between the town centre and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) which is being developed next to Glasgow Airport.
New transport links include a 1.7kilometre riverside route from Abercorn Street to Inchinnan Road, a road bridge at the former Paisley harbour and an east-west road from Renfrew Road to the bridge crossing.
There will also be dedicated walking and cycling along all new routes and an underpass for walking and cycling at Renfrew Road into Gallowhill.
The project which secured the third highest award of £38.7million in the initial round of applications to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
A survey ahead of the planning application saw 90% of the 250 people responding say they’d use the riverside route and 86% confirming they’d be more likely to walk or cycle here following the infrastructure improvements.
Business case projections found the completed infrastructure could attract an additional £136million into the local economy and cut carbon emissions by more than 4,200 tonnes.
Councillor Andy Steel, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Economy and Regeneration Policy Board, said: “Scotland’s home of manufacturing innovation AMIDS is really taking shape and it’s crucial as many people as possible can access the jobs and opportunities it is bringing.
“This project will connect communities either side of the river to their employment and education and enable business growth by improving access for customers and suppliers.
“As well as the economic boost, it will bring environmental enhancements by reducing congestion, making improvements along the river and by offering new walking and cycling options. This will all help to cut carbon emissions and support Renfrewshire’s net zero targets.”
Improving walking and cycling routes is a key component of the project, with the underpass beneath Renfrew Road to Gallowhill Road enhancing connections from the east of the town into West College Scotland and the new Paisley Grammar School community campus which is due to be built by 2026.
The Levelling Up funding has also enabled better connections at AMIDS, with works on Greenock Road in Inchinnan nearing completion providing improvements for cyclists, pedestrians and enhancing road safety with road narrowing and a speed limit reduction.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “It is great to see this improved transport connection project given the green light to help regenerate Renfrewshire through enhanced eco-friendly travel links.
“This will not just provide the community with better access to jobs and grow the local economy, but also cut carbon emissions and improve wellbeing through more walking and cycling options.
“The UK Government is investing £38.7million in this project and more than £2.2billion for levelling up across Scotland.”
The project team are aiming to appoint a contractor later this year to complete the new transport connections which are expected to be in place in 2025.
Detailed designs will be shared with businesses, residents and communities along the routes over the coming months.