SCOTTISH Canals officially opened Garscube Bridge and Panmure Gate Link in the north of Glasgow today, connecting communities on either side of the historic Forth and Clyde Canal.
The new link features a boardwalk and path from the Firhill area to the bridge, at Woodside, and has one-of-a-kind views of nature and wildlife in North Glasgow.
As well as a crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, Garscube Bridge has a retractable deck to allow boats to pass through.
Completion of work marks an important milestone in the delivery of the £6million Claypits Nature Reserve which is due to open in spring 2021.
Michael Matheson MSP, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “I’m really pleased that the Garscube Bridge has now opened as part of the Claypits project, connecting two communities in north Glasgow and providing easy access to nature within the city.
“Completion of the bridge will reopen the Forth and Clyde Canal to boaters as well as providing travel and leisure options for walkers, runners and cyclists. It’s great to see partnership working encouraging more sustainable travel in our towns and cities through high quality infrastructure.”
Catherine Topley, chief executive of Scottish Canals said: “The opening of Garscube Bridge and the Panmure Gate Link marks an important milestone for Scottish Canals and our partners in delivering the Claypits project as part of the wider regeneration in North Glasgow.
“I am delighted that this project will connect the communities of Panmure Gate and Woodside giving them access to an urban nature reserve in the heart of the city. The Claypits project will deliver long-term health and wellbeing benefits to residents as well as an additional boost to the local economy.”
The project emerged from the Woodside, Firhill and Hamiltonhill Development Framework, which received a Living Waterway Award in 2018 in recognition of the project’s success in engaging communities.
It has has been delivered in partnership with local groups, notably, The Claypits Local Nature Reserve Management Group which is made up of residents with a passion to celebrate the environment and greenspace around the Claypits.
Councillor Allan Gow, chair of the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership, said: “On behalf of the partnership, I am delighted to see the opening of the Garscube Bridge today; a project that will reconnect communities in the area.
“Accessibility and greenspace are two of the key goals of the canal partnership in Glasgow, and the Garscube Bridge and the new bridges and greenspace at Sighthill and Stockingfield will benefit thousands of existing, and future, residents in the area.”
Karen McGregor, director of Scotland for Sustrans, said: “The Garscube Bridge and the new boardwalk open up the Claypits Nature Reserve for locals living in Queen’s Cross and Firhill. It’s more important than ever now to have space to walk, cycle, relax and exercise outdoors, and we are pleased to have been able to support this vital new link through Places for Everyone.
“The canal, nature reserve and their connection to the National Cycle Network are a gateway to the city and the surrounding area, as well as an important resource for Glasgow’s biodiversity. This is a unique project -– creating a wild greenspace in the heart of industrial land -– and we are proud to have been part of it.”
The Claypits at Hamiltonhill were originally used to extract clay to line the canal.