Skyway has ground to a halt as funding issues force a rethink

An artists interpretation of the proposed Skyway over the Westfield Roundabout
An artists interpretation of the proposed Skyway over the Westfield Roundabout

Plans to create a futuristic walkway over a roundabout linking Falkirk Stadium with the Helix have come crashing down.

The giant circular bridge, which was going to straddle the current Westfield roundabout, would have been the first of its kind in the UK.

But council planners have had to go back to the drawing board to rethink the design after Sustrans announced it would not provide any funding for the £6 million project.

The ambitious plans for the bridge suspended in the sky were part of a bid to regenerate the Falkirk Gateway project, which had stalled as the recession hit, but the popularity of the Helix and with work on the new £80 million Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College underway, the plans appeared to be back on track.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee on Tuesday, members heard an update on the project during a report on the Falkirk Tax Incremental Finance Initiative (TIF) and Falkirk Gateway.

Douglas Duff, the council’s head of economic development, said: “The Westfield Roundabout and A904 upgrade project had a scheme based on the bridge crossing and we are now working on alternatives for that.”

During the meeting Councillor Tom Coleman criticised the speed, or lack of it, with which TIF projects were now progressing.

He said: “The TIF project is an excellent project and it was one we supported. However, it is not happening as quickly as most members would like to see and not very much seems to be happening.

“When we decided to regenerate the area through My Future’s In Falkirk there was substantial success. Our concern is things are not really moving fast enough with TIF.

“Our TIF proposals are basically fairly sluggish at the moment.”