A fresh approach to safety

Artist impression of new Levenmouth High School which opens in 2016
Artist impression of new Levenmouth High School which opens in 2016

New walking and cycling routes to Levenmouth’s new ‘superschool’ campus have been given the green light thanks to a £400,000 grant.

Sustrans Scotland awarded the largest chunk of its national Safer Routes to School Implementation Fund to Fife Council’s project, which will merge Buckhaven and Kirkland schools when pupils relocate in August 2016.

The two authorities plan to work closely together to install or upgrade a number of crossings across Buckhaven and Methil for cyclists and pedestrians using the new Levenmouth campus development.

Key paths and footways will also be upgraded to make them suitable for everybody to use, including cyclists.

The project aims to enhance safety for pupils, reduce congestion and improve air quality around schools, while making school children physically active.

Simon Strain, Sustrans’ community links officer for schools, said: “We have seen a range of projects being brought forward from local authorities across Scotland, from short, invaluable, sections of shared use path or single safe crossing points, to some really ambitious, area wide schemes aimed at drastically improving the safety and ease with which children can walk, scoot and cycle to school.”

He added: “We hope that some of these large scale projects will inspire other local authorities to take another look at how their local children travel to school, and also where they are building the schools of the future, to ensure that every child who lives within walking or cycling distance of their school has the option to do so.”

Across Scotland, 12 projects took a a share of the transport charity’s £883,500 fund for new infrastructure.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I would like to congratulate the successful projects which have secured Safer Routes to Schools funding. It will provide local authorities with funding to help improve safety for pupils travelling to and from school and reduce congestion.

“Earlier this year we announced a further £7m of cycling investment for 2014/15 which will be spent on safe routes to school as well as community links and cycle parking at schools and workplaces.

“The Scottish Government is committed to making it easier for more people and children to incorporate active travel choices into their daily routines by cycling and walking.”