New hub to encourage active travel
Ayr Rail Station is set to become the home of a new Active Travel Hub – one of the first in Scotland. The hub which will be in place by the end of November, will promote sustainable forms of travel such as walking and cycling, making it easier for commuters, students and tourists to get active.
The project, part of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme administered by Paths for All and funded by Scottish Government and the Council's Cycling Walking and Safer Streets initiative will see the installation of an exciting new facility at the front of the station.
This prime location will help ensure maximum footfall for the hub and a member of staff from SUSTRANS will be on hand to provide helpful advice on routes, facilities, public transport options as well as points of interest to locals and visitors. People will also be able to hire bikes from the hub from spring 2017.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "This is one of the first Active Travel Hubs in Scotland and I am very pleased it will be in place shortly. There are many sustainable travel options in South Ayrshire so it will be great to have all of these promoted from a location which sees thousands of passers-by each day.
"From Barassie to Ballantrae, the hub will highlight all our routes and encourage people to try active travel and build it into their everyday lives. From early next year bikes will be available for hire from the hub, offering people the chance to take in some of our amazing scenery as they explore our extensive cycle path network."
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and The Islands said: "I would like to commend South Ayrshire Council for opening the active travel hub at Ayr Rail Station. As a government, we want to encourage walking and cycling for short journeys and the hub will help local people and visitors by providing information on local routes and also with cycling skills.
"Walking and cycling are a great way to see the local area and have health benefits for the individuals taking part which can help to meet the recommended 150 minutes a week of activity for adults. That is why we have funded the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme across Scotland to encourage people to walk, cycle and take public transport.
"As well as these benefits, if short car journeys are swapped for walking and cycling, there will be carbon savings and local air quality improvements. More people walking and cycling will also support local businesses as evidence shows that walkers and cyclists spend more locally than those in cars."
Janice Gray, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Manager, Paths for All commented: "Paths for All welcomes the imminent arrival of the Ayr Active Travel Hub. All too often the car is used for short, local journeys that could be made more easily by foot and bike. By providing information and advice on local walking and cycling routes the hub will help people to avoid getting stuck in traffic, and to rediscover and enjoy the pleasures of Ayr."