Off-road plan welcomed in Cupar

The group met to discuss the new crossing.
The group met to discuss the new crossing.

A proposed off-road route which would link the south side of Cupar with the rest of the town has received the backing of Fife Council, community leaders and funders.

The ‘red route’ has been developed by Sustainable Cupar to provide a safer route to school from the Castlehill Primary School side of Cupar to Bell Baxter High School, Elmwood Campus and the town’s sports facilities.

It is hoped the path will allow children to walk and cycle safely to school.

This would be via a path at the bottom of Cow Brae and under the railway bridge to the orchard path at Millgate.

This week members of Sustainable Cupar met with local politicians, Castlehill PS headteacher Lisa Gilroy, Active Schools co-ordinator Lynne Mackenzie and representatives of Sustrans, to discuss the proposals in more detail.

Gary Paterson, who is leading efforts to develop the group, said a lease agreement was being finalised with a local farmer which would allow access across ‘the wards’ and under the bridge.

He added: “It is great to see so much interest from across the local community. There is agreement that the community of Cupar would benefit immensely from a route that takes people away from busy roads and out of their cars. As a volunteer Bikeability instructor at Castlehill PS I have seen many children improve in their cycling ability but it is very telling that while promoting cycling, Mrs Gilroy would not encourage her pupils to cycle to school because it isn’t safe. This route would offer great opportunities for everyone to walk and cycle across town.”

Welcoming the proposal, North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: “I think I speak on behalf of everyone who met in seeing the enormous potential of this proposal. I hope a safe crossing point can be agreed upon so the community can enjoy the benefit as soon as possible.”

Local MSP Willie Rennie added: “Forging a safe route through Cupar means that children can with ease and safety travel to school in a way that is good for their health and reduces congestion.

“I hope that more can be done to ensure we have a safe crossing point on that busy road.”