I WRITE this week to endorse the remarks made by several local residents regarding the ‘cycle path debacle’ in recent issues of the Reporter, following the tragic death on the A814 near Cardross of cyclist Colin McCourt a few weeks ago.

While I am a keen cyclist, I have not cycled between Dumbarton and Helensburgh for many years, as I do not consider it safe.

I have on several occasions asked Argyll and Bute Council when and if the council is going to do something to provide a proper cycle path.

I call this stretch of road ‘the missing link in the triangle’. Route 7 of Sustrans’ National Cycle Network, which stretches for more than 540 miles from Sunderland to Inverness, provides a safe and enjoyable traffic-free route between Dumbarton and Balloch.

It is also possible to cycle safely most of the way between Balloch and Helensburgh on the Helensburgh cycle path (although this is not part of the NCN). But the missing link is between Dumbarton and Helensburgh.

My understanding, from contacting Sustrans and Argyll and Bute Council on several occasions, is that funding could be available for a continuous cycle track, which could link with the rest of the National Cycle Network.

The problem, as highlighted by Richard Trail, one of the Argyll and Bute councillors who represents the Cardross area, in the Reporter last week appears to relate to land ownership.

The Dumbarton route would continue from the west side of Dumbarton Bridge, through Levengrove Park to Havoc, and then on to a purpose-built cycle track adjacent to the A814, through Cardross and onwards to Helensburgh.

This route would benefit not only cyclists and walkers, but the village of Cardross and the retailers and cafes in Helensburgh.

There are also railway stations on the route for tired cyclists - Dalreoch, Cardross and Craigendoran, with Helensburgh at the end.

With leisure cycling increasing dramatically since the Covid crisis, surely now is the time to make every effort to finally resolve this problem.