02 July 2021
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On Yer Bike to Loch Katrine!02 July 2021
The North Shore Road at Loch Katrine is fully open and visitors to the local area are welcome, as Scotland comes out of lockdown and looks to enjoy a bumper year of staycationing.
The entire road, from Trossachs Pier in the east to Stronachlachar in the west, owned by Scottish Water, is hugely popular with cyclists, walkers, and residents.
The section of the single-track road between Portnellan and Stronachlachar had been closed after a total of 26 landslides during heavy rainfall in August 2019.
MSP Evelyn Tweed was joined by local councillor Martin Earl; James Fraser, Sir Walter Scott Steamship; David Hope, owner of Katrine Wheelz; Trevor Geraghty, Strathard Community Council; and Robert Cameron of Scottish Water. All are delighted to see the road open and welcome visitors.
“Scottish Water, Stirling Council and local stakeholders have done a power of work to ensure this route, a favourite of the cycling community, has reopened safely.”Evelyn Tweed
Summer Fun Ahead!
With the school summer holidays now under way, MSP Evelyn Tweed joined local councillors and businesses for a photocall to kick off the summer fun. And what better way to do that than getting on some electric bikes from local cycle hire company Katrine Wheelz?!
Evelyn Tweed MSP said: “Scottish Water, Stirling Council and local stakeholders have done a power of work to ensure this route, a favourite of the cycling community, has reopened safely. Stirling is full of fantastic natural sights and attractions, and I’m very pleased tourists can now move freely around Loch Katrine and fully enjoy it. I know local businesses too will be glad the repairs have been completed, and I’d encourage visitors to make the most of their time here in Stirling’s rural communities by cycling, sailing or walking around the area.”
Iconic Cycle Route
David Hope, owner of Katrine Wheelz cycle hire, is also looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors over the coming months. He said: 'We are delighted the work has been completed and that the North Shore Road is fully reopened. It's one of the most iconic cycle routes in Scotland and our customers love this stunning ride amongst breath-taking scenery.
“We have added new electric bikes to our fleet this year, ideal for exploring the Loch Katrine North Shore Road, and look forward to welcoming many visitors from all over the UK to Loch Katrine this summer.”
Evelyn Tweed MSP, Councillor Martin Earl and Strathard Community Council representative Trevor Geraghty.
David Hope and James Fraser with Evelyn Tweed MSP.
“The reopening of the road, following a substantial investment by Scottish Water, coincides with the re-introduction of the seasonal sailings between Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar and greatly enhances the overall visitor experience at Loch Katrine in time for the school holidays.”Gordon Allan
Managing Director of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott
Challenging and Complex Engineering Work
Following the landslides, thousands of tonnes of debris had to be cleared from the road before Scottish Water’s contractors George Leslie carried out extensive repairs. The logistically challenging and complex engineering project included extra flood mitigation measures implemented and a total of 17 culverts were upsized and re-built along the route.
Significant work on the slopes and watercourses in the Glengyle area has also been completed, as well as general maintenance work on the road. Some additional minor maintenance work will be undertaken along the road in coming months but will not have any impact on access or people’s ability to enjoy the local amenities on offer.
Sail the Loch
Loch Katrine is the perfect location for anyone enjoying a staycation, with so much to see and do, including picturesque walking and cycling trails, and loch cruises with local company Steamship Sir Walter Scott Ltd.
People can also relax and recharge their batteries, get some food, and take in the sights at one of the two cafes – The Pier Café and The Steamship Café - situated at either end of the loch.
Gordon Allan, Managing Director of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott said: “It is great to have the North Shore Road reopened again as it is one of the most popular cycle and walking routes in the National Park, and it makes an important contribution to our boat trip operations with many visitors combining a boat trip to Stronachlachar with a cycle or walk back on the North Shore Road.’’
‘’The reopening of the road following a substantial investment by Scottish Water coincides with the re-introduction of the seasonal sailings between Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar and greatly enhances the overall visitor experience at Loch Katrine in time for the school holidays.’’
Scottish Water wishes local businesses a very successful summer season. Pictured here with Evelyn Tweed MSP is Robert Cameron from Scottish Water who worked on the project.
Thanking the local businesses and residents for their patience during the works, Georgina Reid, Regional Corporate Affairs Manager in the west, said: “We fully understand the disruption experienced by local businesses, residents and visitors to the area as a result of these emergency works.
“Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic added to this and we want to thank everyone for the patience and understanding shown during these complex works. We wish the local businesses a very successful summer season and hope to continue working with them to ensure visitors can enjoy this beautiful location to the full.”
Meanwhile, fundraising efforts are ongoing to save the 121-year-old Sir Walter Scott Steamship which it is hoped will be back in operation by the end of June 2022. With the launch of the SOS (Save Our Steamship) appeal earlier this week, Steamship Sir Walter Scott Ltd hopes to raise around £400,000 to repair the historic vessel and help it find its sea-legs once again. Donations can be made via: www.saveoursteamship.com