CONSTRUCTION of the Dumbarton to Helensburgh cycle path is set to be pushed back by as much as three years, documents have revealed.

A report says it’s now thought the full path won’t be complete until the spring of 2027. As recently as three months ago, the same action plan was showing a projected completion date for all three sections of the path by the same stage of 2024.

A report, along with an updated timetable, was considered by Argyll and Bute’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee earlier this month.

The document also says that a 300-metre section of the path in Cardross, from the village’s railway station to the Geilston Burn, is set to be built in the spring of 2020.

UK walking and cycling charity SUSTRANS has pledged £100,000 for this part of the route, and also £160,000 to progress the design of the remaining sections.

Pippa Milne, Argyll and Bute Council’s executive director with responsibility for development and economic growth, said: “Preparations are underway for the construction of a 285m section of the route within Cardross from Cardross Station to the Geilston Burn in 2019/20.

“The conclusion of the land agreement with Cardross Trust means that the council have the necessary landowner agreements in place for the construction of the section of route linking Cardross Station and the Geilston Burn.

“SUSTRANS confirmed £100,000 construction funding for 2019/20 on Friday, October 25, matched against £100,000 SPT 2019/20 funding. These funding agreements require the construction to be completed in spring 2020.”

A projected timeline for the path shows that the as-yet-unidentified section from Hermitage Academy to Helensburgh town centre is not now expected to be complete until the spring of 2027.

The same paper for the area committee’s last meeting in September showed this projection as being spring 2024, the same as for the Cardross to Dumbarton section.

This latter part of the route is now earmarked for completion in autumn 2026.

The prediction for the completion of the Helensburgh to Cardross section, some of which is already built, is winter 2025. It was previously two years earlier.

Ms Milne added: “Community engagement is planned to identify demand for and a potential route of the cycle path from the eastern edge of Helensburgh [adjacent to Waitrose] into the heart of the town.

“SUSTRANS provisionally indicated in July that they would provide funding in 2019/20 to enable this community engagement to be undertaken. Due to the delay in confirming 2019/20 funding SUSTRANS have now confirmed that this funding will not be awarded in 2019/20 and the council will require to reapply for funding to undertake this community engagement in 2020/21.”

Councillors will also be updated behind closed doors on land negotiations for the various sections of the path at the area committee meeting.

However, this part of the meeting will be conducted behind closed doors as it relates to financial or business affairs. Papers relating to this are kept confidential as well.

Discussions on the path itself will be open to the public.