LARGS and Millport look set ot be snubbed for new cycling opportunities being promoted by the Scottish Government because of red tape, the News can reveal.

The Scottish Government has pledged £10 million for pop-up active travel infrastructure including cycling opportunities.

Up to £10 million is being reallocated from the ‘Places for Everyone’ budget in Scotland to fund pop-up active travel infrastructure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But a cycle path project linking Largs to Skelmorlie and a new one in Millport do not look likely to feature in the plans.

However, the long-awaited Fairlie coastal path looks set to get the go-ahead providing improved walking and cycling opportunities.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The benefits of cycling and outdoor exercise are known to boost both physical and mental well-being.

“In regard to the Fairlie Coastal Path, the tender for the construction of the section between Bay Street and Ferry Row will be issued once the current COVID-19 restrictions on construction are lifted, and we would hope for work to commence on site within eight weeks of the tender documents being issued.

“A feasibility study was competed 2014 which identified a number of options for a route between Largs and Skelmorlie, however due to complex ownership issues and the high cost of the proposals this has not progressed any further.

“On Cumbrae, a feasibility study was carried out in 2018 to consider improvements to active travel routes. A route between the Field Studies Centre and the ferry terminal was identified at public consultation as being the priority. However, for this to proceed further the agreement of all landowners will be needed and external funding sources would also be required due to the high cost of this option."

Councillor Alan Hill said: " I would welcome the Fairlie path being moved forward.

"It is great that we are out riding bikes, walking and jogging, but we should be looking at getting more bikes on the road while the roads are quieter.

As a solicitor, Alan said he is now considering a daily commute by bike to his work in future.

He added: "I can stick my files and folders in the panniers of the bike.

"Look at other small countries such as Denmark and Holland which do such a great job in promoting cycling. We should be doing the same here."