Cycle hub has potential for excellence

Picture: Michael Gillen
Picture: Michael Gillen

Linlithgow is set to win the go-ahead for an ambitious Kettilstoun cycle hub project that could revolutionise outdoor leisure across West Lothian.

But the success of the scheme rests on sensitive negotiations with West Lothian Council which are planned to take place early in 2017.

That was the upbeat message on just one key scheme nurtured by Linlithgow Community Development Trust as it prepared to start the new year. It is planning a raft of far-reaching initiatives designed to bring positive changes that are predicted to impact beyond the town itself.

The idea of developing a cycling attraction at Kettilstoun has won “massive” support, according to the Trust’s development worker, Pamela Barnes, who says the strength of the idea lies in the fact that there’s currently nothing comparable in central Scotland.

“There is so much local enthusiasm for the project,” she said, “but it has the potential to reach out to people across West Lothian, because Linlithgow is so accessible - and there is already so much cycling activity here.”

The aim would be to make a closed, 1km cycle track. Plans for a Linlithgow cycling hub are the key element of the ongoing Kettilstoun Hub community project – for which West Lothian Council and West Lothian Leisure also have ambitious plans.

The circuit would aim to make Linithgow the focus of what would amount to a cycling centre of excellence, but would be open to everyone and not just cycle clubs.

Alongside the cycle circuit there would be a pump track, an athletics track with athletics facilities, and a skatepark.

The wider scheme has been gradually taking shape over the last two years, and early 2017 is expected to see important decisions made about how the various elements will fit together.

However Linlithgow Community Development Trust will also be pursuing several other development plans in the new year.

Trust’s Pamela Barnes said: “For the first time we’re going to be speaking to all 160 community organisations in the area, which has never been done before, to find ways we can help them and find common objectives.

“We also want to look at ways of bringing more open air activity to the town centre, in a way which can benefit everyone.”