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MSP takes a walk on the north side to launch Promenade

posted 26 Aug 2009, 11:11 by myEdinburgh Admin
South of Scotland MSP, Alasdair Morgan, today (26th August) joined the city's Economic Development convener, Cllr Tom Buchanan, to officially open the first 1km section of the Edinburgh Promenade.

They were joined by local school children, older people's walking groups, cyclists and kite-flyers, all of whom will be able to enjoy the benefits of the new 6m-wide walk and cycle-way between Silverknowes and Granton.

A destination point, the first of 20 along the route and the venue for the launch, has been created at Birnie Rocks as the centre-piece of the new section and has been given additional treatment. This location benefits from spectacular views to Fife and the Forth Bridges and is positioned in an attractive parkland setting.

On completion, the Promenade will form a continuous walkway and cycleway extending for 16.8km from Cramond in the west to Joppa in the east and, as well as being the signature project of the Waterfront development, it will form part of the Scottish Coastal Path and the North Sea Trail. Work on the next stage, from Silverknowes and Granton Harbour, is due to begin in May 2010.

Mr Morgan first raised the idea of a national coastal route with the former Scottish Executive in 2005 - since then he has pursued the issue researching other long-distance routes and found that Scotland already has many coastal paths which could be joined together into a unified long-distance route.

Speaking at the launch, he said: "A national coastal path would run from near Gretna right around the coast of Scotland to Berwick taking in many of Scotland's most beautiful sights and towns on the way. From walking the whole distance to taking in sections at a time, much as people climb munros, the coastal path could offer new tourism and outdoor opportunities.

"The development of a continuous high quality coastal Promenade route here in Edinburgh will be a major asset for the Waterfront, the city and for Scotland."

Cllr Tom Buchanan added: "The Edinburgh Promenade will offer residents of all ages the opportunity to enjoy a walk, run or cycle along the sea front and to enjoy the wonderful views across to Fife.

"Beyond that, the Promenade is a key element in our plans to make the Waterfront an attractive and high quality visitor destination and, through increasing visitor numbers to the area, we expect to bring an additional £12m per year to the city and create over new 1,000 jobs.

"This project highlights that, despite challenging economic conditions, this Council is continuing to invest in the development of high quality public spaces for the people of Edinburgh."

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council