Gourock train station new active travel route is officially opened

Minister for Active Travel, Patrick Harvie MSP, visited Gourock train station to officially open a new active travel link which means walkers, wheelers and cyclists can now stay on track.

The Minister met convener of Environment and Regeneration, Councillor Michael McCormick, as well as representatives from the various partners involved in the project.

The project was funded by the Scottish Government and designed and delivered through a partnership between Inverclyde Council and Sustrans, with support from Network Rail, ScotRail and Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL).

Work began on the £196,000 route in late January and it is now completed and open to the public.

The project has realigned the National Cycle Route 75 which was previously interrupted by the station.

The new path is separated from the main concourse by glass panels to avoid any conflict with other station users. This allows walkers, wheelers and cyclists to either continue on their journey through the station or connect to onward travel by train or ferry.

Councillor Michael McCormick, convener of Environment and Regeneration, said: “This active travel route is fantastic news for everyone who wants to discover more of Inverclyde’s wonderful coastline.

“Previously anyone using the NCR75 had to dismount to go through the train station but now they can continue through and it doesn’t impact on station users.

“I commend everyone involved in this project and am glad to see it up and running and delivered on schedule.”

Official opening of new active travel route through Gourock train station
Official opening of Gourock train station active travel route by Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie with (L-R) Cllr Sandra Reynolds, Cllr Lynne Quinn; Graeme McGinty, senior project manager from CMAL; James Ledgerwood, ScotRail head of economic and community development; Karen McGregor, director of Sustrans Scotland; convener of Environment and Regeneration Cllr Michael McCormick and Brian Maley, project manager at Network Rail

Minister for Active Travel, Patrick Harvie said: “It’s welcome news that people choosing to walk, wheel and cycle around Gourock can now do so continuously along National Cycle Network 75, with reduced conflicts around the train station.

“The realignment work makes it easier for people to choose active travel locally, or to integrate cycling as part of wider public transport journeys.

“We’re providing record funding for active travel in Scotland to remove barriers to more people choosing healthier and happier forms of transport. In doing so, we will see more infrastructure improvements, like we see at Gourock, in communities right across the country.”

The existing glass barriers have been extended to create the route. Access gates will be opened and closed in line with the station’s opening hours and will be operated by ScotRail.

Inverclyde’s Sports and Healthy Lifestyles Champion, Councillor Sandra Reynolds, said: “This is an extremely useful use of this space in the station and it’s great to see the route up and running.

“We want to encourage more active travel across Inverclyde with connections to transport links being used by commuters and this path can only help with that. I look forward to also seeing locals and visitors using and enjoying the new route as they discover Inverclyde.”

The new segregated route is part of Sustrans' wider work to improve and expand the National Cycle Network across Scotland, making it easier for more people to walk, wheel and cycle for their everyday journeys.

Official opening of new active travel route through Gourock train station
The new route is separated from the station platform

Karen McGregor, Director at Sustrans Scotland, added: “We’re very pleased that this improved link through Gourock Station is now open to the public.

“The realignment of National Cycle Network Route 75 has enabled continuous travel for people walking, wheeling and cycling, making it easier and safer for everyone in Inverclyde to make healthier, happier and more sustainable choices for their everyday journeys.

“We hope the improved connection between local active travel routes and public transport hubs will encourage more residents and visitors to the area to leave the car at home.”

Access points are available in the station and at Gourock Ferry Terminal. Additional signage and road markings have also been put in place.

Brian Maley, project manager at Network Rail, said: “We’re thrilled to be playing our part in providing this important link as part of the National Cycle Network Route 75.

“Rail remains one of the greenest forms of public transport and hope this upgrade will encourage even more people to make the switch to active travel to and from our stations.”

Graeme McGinty, Senior Project Manager from CMAL added: “This is a great example of how partnership working can lead to better, more accessible travel routes for all.

“With the route connecting to the harbour, we hope it encourages more visitors to explore Inverclyde.”

James Ledgerwood, ScotRail Head of Economic and Community Development, said: “ScotRail is delighted to be able to support this fantastic project, which sees the active travel route now open through Gourock Station.

“This shared path will enable everyone, whether cycling, wheeling or walking, to benefit from a dedicated travel link, facilitating an improved interchange for customers using ScotRail services from Gourock station.”

Official opening of new active travel route through Gourock train station
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie tries out the new route

Dagmar Lages from the Inverclyde Bothy (Cycling UK), which is based at Gourock train station and encourages active travel in the area said: “We are excited to see the opening of this new piece of segregated infrastructure which links up a gap in the NCN75 route as well as providing better links to public transport. 

“This will make a big difference in giving people the confidence to cycle safely in Inverclyde.

“The Cycling UK Inverclyde Bothy is located on the NCN75 at Gourock station so this will allow greater options for us to support people to use the new infrastructure.

“With more high-quality cycle routes like this in Inverclyde we can help even more people enjoy the benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling.”