EAST Ayrshire residents are set to benefit from additional cycling and walking routes across the region.

It comes after the council were given increased funding from Transport Scotland which will go towards increasing the council’s cycling, walking and safer routes (CWSR) programme for 2020/21.

The extra funding through a revised grant offer of £536,000 will see three additional schemes funded - the B743 Hilltop Path and Viewing Area in Mauchline; enhanced cycle and scooter parking at schools and early childhood centres (ECCs); and additional funding for the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse cycle route.

The enhanced cycle and scooter parking has been welcomed by several schools and ECCs who expressed an interest in obtaining additional parking areas.

A bid has been submitted to the Sustrans cycle and scooter parking fund which would provide 50 per cent of the funding, with the other half paid for through the extra Transport Scotland funding.

Schools to benefit from the project include Auchinleck PS and ECC and New Cumnock PS and ECC.

The final additional project will involve providing extra funding for the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse Cycle Route that will see the widening of the existing footways to form a shared use footway/cycleway from the Dalespark roundabout to Crosshouse Hospital and connecting to Crosshouse village.

Councillor Jim Roberts, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “The new projects will be a great addition to the CWST programme. The Mauchline project will be particularly welcomed due to the increased walking that’s been taking place on the route since the start of COVID-19.

“In our schools and ECCs, I know that the establishments involved will make excellent use of the enhanced bike and scooter parking and that it will help them in their efforts to encourage cycling and walking to school. I’m also pleased to see that the extra measures to be carried out on the Kilmarnock to Crosshouse cycle route will make it even safer for those who use it and this will be important as more people are now cycling due to the current circumstances.

“I look forward to seeing work being progressed as soon as possible on these various projects which will bring real safety, wellbeing and leisure benefits to our local communities.”