Civil engineering consultants Narro Associates in partnership with Connected Transport Planning has been commissioned by Dumfries and Galloway Council to undertake an Active Travel feasibility study for Annan.
Creating a vision for the future
Dumfries and Galloway Council has been awarded grant funding through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme to deliver a Feasibility and Concept Design study for this project. The study is a fantastic opportunity to evaluate and improve how everyone currently uses the town and how this can be improved. This will underpin the development of tailored plans to improve opportunities to walk or cycle in the town and to reduce the need to drive.
What should the Active Travel Network look like?
Route suggestion following Community Event on 12th June
Route suggestion following Community Event on 12th June
First thoughts Concept Route 5 – Pipe Track
The decommissioned cooling pipes associated with Chapelcross could be removed and the path upgraded.
First thoughts Concept Route 4 – Main Street
Connecting to the river bridge, the route could pass along Port Street onto the B721 along Main Street to the Pipe Track and Tesco Roundabout where it will connect to the Villages Route.
First thoughts Concept Route 1 – Stadium to Station
From the Silverlaw Street / North Street Junction the route could progress south along North Street and across the B721. The route could then progress along Downies Wynd / St Johns Road past the station, across the bridge to Wood Avenue.
Harbour to Pipeline via Elmvale Cut
This route was identified post public consultation and could provide a key east west route to the south of the railway line.
First thoughts Concept Route 2 – River to Pipe
From Riverside Walk, the route could work its way west along Victoria Road toward Annan Academy. The route could then pass behind the Academy following the existing path toward Solway Street before working along Seaforth Park and along the bottom of the field and connecting to the pipe path.
First thoughts Concept Route 3 – Stadium to hospital
From The Stadium along either Johnstone Road or English Street, the route could travel along Butt Street and Newington Road before turning down Standalane and connecting to the pipe track.
Understanding where people would like to be able to walk and cycle to as part of their everyday journeys is a key part of our concept network planning.
NCN cycle route 7 along Main Street connects to the Harbour Area at this junction. The junction is very busy with traffic and the footways narrow.
There are opportunities to improve existing footpaths to form better routes across the town.
There are many challenges where limited space creates barriers to people movement. This rail bridge limits space. Narrow footways and criss-crossing road can also be a barrier to walking and cycling.
There are opportunities to also create new path links. For example linking Annan Academy and Swimming Pool to the pipeline path.
Our concept network needs to work with the communities and some change will be required. On-street parking occurs across the roads in the town as many residents do not have access to driveways.
Main Street is heavily trafficked and a barrier to travel, splitting the town. The street is well used by on-street parking. Main street is also part of the National Cycle Network. Crossing Main Street can be challenging also meaning people move to use the signalised crossing provided and perhaps don’t cross where they would like to.
The pipeline track offers a potential opportunity to create a north / south shared use cycle / walking footway aswell as connecting Chapelcross and other footpaths in the wider area. The pipeline is still utilised by Chapelcross and may not be available until 2036.
The feasibility study has five key aims:
Removing barriers to active travel
Finding your way around Annan without a car can be a challenge. There are few signposts to help pedestrians or cyclists navigate around. The High Street, B721, is very busy with around 10,000 vehicles using it each day. This makes crossing the road difficult at busy times and effectively splits the town in two. The A75 to the north and the railway line to the south create further barriers, restricting and limiting movement to where bridges are provided.
This study will identify other barriers to travel and active travel options that need to be considered in future proposals.
Improving visitor experiences in the town
Many people travelling to Annan are actually travelling through the town. They don’t stop to appreciate the town’s history or local attractions. National Cycle Route 7 follows the High Street with few indications of other routes or attractions for cyclists passing through. This results in almost all visitor activity being limited to the route along the B721. Yet nearly all of the towns key sites of interest can be easily accessed from the town centre by walking or cycling. Better signposting and alternative routes will help divert visitors to see more of what Annan has to offer.
This study will consider a whole range of options to reallocate road space, create green spaces and opportunities to celebrate and improve access to Annan’s rich heritage and history.
Adapting to change
Dumfries and Galloway Council has promoted 20mph zones to help make areas around schools safer. This study will look at additional measures that can be implemented to encourage more parents to allow their children to walk and cycle.
The area is also changing. Chapelcross Power Station site has been a topic of discussion for nearly 20 years and will be redeveloped. The harbour area is also a major underdeveloped asset. Where people will want to travel to in the town and surrounding areas in the future will be considered as part of the study to make sure any plans future proof.
Involving the local community
As part of the study, local residents, businesses and community groups will be invited to give their views about the improvements they would like to see in the area. Look out for details of consultation events on this website and our Facebook page. An online survey will also be available for those that can’t make it to events in person.
A first step in the journey
This study is the first step in exploring what’s possible and getting the views of the local community. Further consultation exercises will take place in the second half of 2023.