Skinflats street saddled with cycle path

Residents say the council did not inform them about the cyclepath
Residents say the council did not inform them about the cyclepath

Furious residents are fighting back against the cycle path they have been saddled with outside their homes.

George Baillie, of Binnie Place, Skinflats, had been away visiting for a few days and, when she returned home on December 9, was shocked to find council workers had ripped trees away from her back garden and were in the process of digging up land nearby.

He soon discovered the work taking place was part of Helix Project plans to create cycle paths in the area.

“The first I heard about this was when I saw the work being carried out - the council said letters had been sent out back in August but I received no notification this work was due to take place.

“If I had known about it, I certainly would have objected. The back and side of my house were secure and safe before - there was never a reason for anyone to be there. This has opened my house and garden up to the elements and is also an invasion of my privacy.

“I thought the Helix programme was supposed to bring communities in and around Falkirk together and not destroy them. The cycle path isn’t even needed - we already have a cycle path on Newton Road leading to Carronshore which has proved to be a suitable and scenic route for cyclists and walkers to enjoy.”

Councillor Robert Spears responded to residents’ complaints by visiting the work site on Tuesday.

He said: “What concerns me here is the lack of proper consultation with residents - I think that needs to be looked at. I had no complaints from residents about this cycle path going here so I thought everything was fine.

“Now I find out some of the residents didn’t even know a cycle path was being built.”

After receiving resident’s complaints, Rhona Geisler, the council’s director of development services, suspended work until she got to the bottom of the matter.

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “Letters were delivered to local residents in August explaining our proposals and inviting any observations to be made or any concerns raised.

“Planning permission is not required for this work and the path is being constructed on council-owned land. However, we will continue to discuss the issue with the residents and continue to try to address the issues now raised.”