AMBITIOUS plans have been submitted to create a cycle route across the former swing bridge in Bowling.

Scottish Canals has enlisted landscape architects Rankin Fraser and their proposals have been submitted to West Dunbartonshire Council for consideration.

The proposals also includes a linear park at the site, elevated “viewports” and seating areas, lighting and planting proposals and accessible pedestrian and cycle connections between the basin, National Cycle Route 7 and the upper viaduct level.

Rankin Fraser has even submitted 98-page design and access statement as part of what they say is a “detailed” planning application.

It’s not clear how much the project will cost, but it’s understood to be part of on-going regeneration projects in the area, worth millions of pounds.

The introduction to the design and access statement says: “This is an exciting opportunity to retain and re-use these heritage assets whilst further assisting in the ongoing regeneration of the harbour area at bowling.“The Bowling Viaduct project will restore and conserve the historic elements, improve access in the area for all users on the viaduct, as well as creating a new tourist attraction and landmark for the town of Bowling.

“The viaduct will also act as a direct link to two disparate parts of the National Cycle Route 7.”

The report also goes on to say: “These proposals seek to maximise the significance of the strategic location of the site, both in relation to the historic canal and the nearby popular tourist routes.”

The project is part of ongoing efforts to breath new life into the coastal village.

Back in 2015 the Reporter told how Bowling Basin, the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal, was among 27 areas to benefit from a Coastal Communities Fund grant.

The basin project received a staggering £780,000 to support its ongoing transformation into a vibrant tourism and leisure destination.

That grant award built on the £1 million project undertaken in 2014 by Scottish Canals and West Dunbartonshire Council that saw the area’s disused railway arches renovated into commercial units- thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Shovel Ready programme.

Now Scottish Canals hope they get the green light to help make additional improvements in the area.

In their planning summary they said: “Building a brighter future at Bowling Basin is our comprehensive regeneration programme for this strategic gateway location on the Forth and Clyde canal.

“Our vision for a sustainable economically active future for Bowling has been articulated and developed by the local community and project stakeholders.

“The proposed project forms part of our ongoing phased delivery programme for regeneration at Bowling.”

“Together with strong support from the local community, Scottish Canals, West Dunbartonshire Council, Clyde Ports Authority, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Waterways and Sustrans have been working in partnership to unlock the potential of Bowling’s waterfront over a number of years.”

Bowling has long been associated with shipbuilding and ship repairs.

When the Forth and Clyde canal at Bowling opened in 1790, it increased the number of vessels passing through the small village on their way to Glasgow.

The proposal is expected to be reviewed by the local authority in due course.