The following is a letter sent to the News from Linda Grainey....

I was very dismayed and somewhat surprised, to read about Cllr. Hill 'championing' the use of half of our promenade for a cycle track. It is very popular with our local population and visitors for walking on for over one hundred years and since 1902 for the use of cyclists.

I have photos of my great-grandparents walking along it, with my grandma.

It is not a very long promenade. From the Pier out to Aubery Crescent. The path south from the Pier to the Pencil is very narrow and for the most part not a Promenade.

He writes about shared use. Shared use may or may not be appropriate where the 'activity' is the same. This is, self-evidently, not the case, when folk are walking, strolling in fact, relaxing, talking with friends and family and taking in our wonderful views.

During the wretched coronavirus pandemic, we were appalled by the, daily, selfish, behaviour of cyclists on the prom. Men of a certain age who should know and behave better cycling three and four abreast in the middle of the prom - little room for anyone else to walk and folk felt very stressed with them speeding by. It changed the very nature of the usual experience of walking along our prom.

I am not alone. Many of your readers have in fact written in to the Wee Paper over the years in assisting folk who have fallen over getting out of the way of these irresponsible, selfish and at times downright dangerous people on their bikes. One time, approaching the bridge at Rockland Park - a cyclist pinging his bell for me to 'get out of his way' - I turned to and said, "Where am I supposed to go...?"

On another occasion a cyclist nearly knocked me over on the bridge itself, despite a very clear sign which states that cyclists must dismount. The signs which state that cyclists must give way to pedestrians are completely ignored.

It is not any sort of enjoyable experience to have to keep getting out of the way for cyclists who are on paths that were built and intended for PEDESTRIAN USE!

What happened to the plaque at the Pencil which records that the path was constructed for the people of Largs and visitors to enjoy walking on? That seems to have mysteriously disappeared, having been there all my life.

I think that it is the height of irresponsibility to be encouraging cycling unless you have purpose built, separate and therefore safe cycle paths.

Increasingly we have folk cycling on the pavement along Irvine Road. It is NOT a path, it is a pavement and what's more - there is no pavement on the other side of the road, so nowhere for folk to cross over to. There are mums walking along with small children in prams and buggies. It is nothing short of a miracle that there has not been injury or accident. 

You are encouraging this activity, Cllr. Hill, without providing safe provision to accommodate it. On the contrary, this road is more akin to a motorway most days, with pretty much constant traffic throughout the day. I think that it would be wise and safest for cyclists to keep off the road at peak times. It is already, problematic given the narrowness of the road, let alone folk trying to overtake cyclists.

Of course - you could do the right thing and build that bypass, which we were promised back in the 70s. Take most of the ten thousand vehicles a day, most of which are just passing through off our roads and then the cyclists can cycle safely on the road.

I also agree with Largs Community Council that funding to divide our prom is not the priority at the moment. Given the amount of rainwater following heavy rainfall that is accumulating on various sections of Irvine Road in Largs and Fairlie and the absolutely, terrifying amount earlier this year up near Brisbane Glen Cemetery - adequate drainage would seem to be an obvious priority for any monies available.

When, as Largs Community Council recently stated, so many folk cannot afford to put any heat on in the cold weather nor feed themselves and their families - it is more than somewhat concerning, that one of our elected representatives regard this as a project to advocate.

Cllr. Hill seems to be unaware that the prom is used by a number of folk with various stages of disability on a daily basis. I am sure if he was aware that he would not be championing this proposal.

In conclusion, whilst I have great regard and respect for our NAC local councillors, on this issue, however, Cllr. Hill is just plain wrong and totally out-of-order quite frankly.


Linda Grainey (Resident)