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The latest news from East Neuk Community Action Plan

My fietsen! Bike stories: Sonja from ENCAP

20th June 2024

Sonja Potjewijd, from the Netherlands is one of the Project Leads who has been working on the Earlsferry to Pittenweem shared path project. She explains how cycling has always been part of her life, and now living in Scotland she is working to help develop a better cycling awareness and infrastructure here.

I have so many wonderful memories of my adventures with bicycles! As a kid, I absolutely loved going on bike rides with my parents. Every outing felt like a brand new adventure, with so much to explore and see. In the Netherlands, where I’m from, cycling is just a natural part of our everyday lives. I have so many vivid memories of sitting on the special kids’ seat and joining my parents on their daily errands.

My cycling journey began when I got my first bike with stabilizers at the age of 3. I felt like such a cool kid, riding around in my red jacket and hat, exploring the friendly streets of my neighbourhood. Whether I was riding alone or with all the kids from our street, every bike ride was filled with excitement and joy.

With such a great biking infrastructure in the Netherlands, no matter the weather – whether it was sunny, rainy, or snowy – I hopped on my bike to go to school, the park, sports activities, or to meet up with friends. I even enjoyed cycling with my grandparents through the beautiful woodlands on weekends. During holidays, we’d load our bikes onto the car and go on adventures across the Netherlands, discovering all the hidden gems of the country. There’s just so much to see and experience when you’re out and about on your bike, and the feeling of freedom and happiness it brings is simply unbeatable.

One of my most beloved bikes was a vibrant yellow and blue one I received as a gift when I finished primary school and transitioned to secondary school. I have so many wonderful memories with that bike, from carrying my school bag and gymnastics gear to having my best friend Linda on the back and using it for delivering papers during my first job, as well as for camping gear and picnic supplies. There’s nothing quite like spending time outdoors with friends and enjoying a lovely picnic!

During my university days, I had a worn-out, unassuming bike to deter potential thieves. This trusty bike carried all sorts of props for theatre plays, including up to four chairs at a time, as well as memories of my first real boyfriend.

As I grew older, I invested in a more expensive bike that has accompanied me on adventures across the globe, from cycling north to south in the Netherlands, to exploring from Bangkok to the mountains above Chiang Mai, and even embarking on journeys from Washington D.C. to Virginia.

Having recently moved to Scotland, I find myself missing the sense of freedom and security I felt while cycling in the Netherlands. This longing has motivated me to get involved in supporting organisations like Sustrans and local groups such as ENCAP with the goal of creating a more bike-friendly culture and infrastructure in Scotland and contributing to the development of shared-use path projects.

Meet the cyclist

11th June 2024

Meet the amazing Dr. Richard Bowditch! He commutes by bike and often uses his bike or skateboard to visit his patients in care homes in East Neuk. How cool is that! In the pictures, you can see his bike and skateboard in his examination room.

The distances between villages in East Neuk are perfect for walking, cycling, and wheeling. A decent off-road shared path project will massively improve the options for people to move around pleasantly and safely, creating happier and healthier neighbourhoods.

 

 

 

Changes to Sustrans Places for Everyone funding programme

11th June 2024

Crispin Hayes, Whole Cycle Ltd,  lead consultant to the Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project gives us his reaction to the changes in funding by Transport Scotland that will affect this and other active path community projects 

In February this year, Transport Scotland announced a decision to wind up the Sustrans Places for Everyone funding programme over the next year and a half, finally closing in September 2025, and not providing any new construction funding from now. 

Transport Scotland’s replacement is a new construction fund that will be distributed direct to Local Authorities only and not community organisations. I think that is a pity because community organisations have a much greater focus on working for their local community. My concern is that communities will lose control of their project, because essentially they do the design stages, and then hand it over to the Council to do the construction. 

It also risks projects like Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project not being near the top of the Council’s large pool of projects. And it is subject to other political and budget factors outside the community’s control. 

Our current approach is to liaise closely with Council officers to ensure they are stakeholders in these design stages, and that local support means the project has to be considered seriously for construction.

As we said previously, Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project applied in May 2024 to our funder Sustrans Places for Everyone to move to Stages 3 & 4 Developed Design. We expect to hear about the result of that funding application in late June or July, and we will update when we do know. We understand that it will be a competitive round, so fingers crossed. 

 

Project Update!

11th June 2024

We are excited to announce that we have completed Stage 2 Concept Design for the project. This marks the initial phase of creating design drawings, allowing us to engage more thoroughly with stakeholders such as landowners, the Local Authority, and the community to discuss the proposed path. We have plans for community engagement activities, including an event later this year, to gather feedback and discuss the project with the communities along the route. We continue to work with landowners to secure agreements for the proposed route.

We have submitted our application for the next stage of funding for Stages 3-4 to Sustrans, and we will find out if we are successful with this application around June/July.

If we are, the next stage will see us further develop the route concepts and incorporate technical details. We will also identify travel interventions, test the implications, and engage with the community, asking for your feedback on the routes and activities along the way.
Watch this space as we continue to share our progress with the community.

 

Project Update!

4th June 2024

We are excited to announce that we have completed Stage 2 Concept Design for the project. This marks the initial phase of creating design drawings, allowing us to engage more thoroughly with stakeholders such as landowners, the Local Authority, and the community to discuss the proposed path. We have plans for community engagement activities, including an event later this year, to gather feedback and discuss the project with the communities along the route. We continue to work with landowners to secure agreement for the proposed route.

In February of this year, Transport Scotland announced a decision to wind up the Sustrans Places for Everyone funding programme over the next year and a half, finally closing in September 2025, and not providing any new construction funding from now. Transport Scotland’s replacement is a new construction fund that will be distributed direct to Local Authorities only and not community organisations. Our approach is to liaise closely with Council officers to ensure they are stakeholders in these design stages, and that local support means the project has to be considered seriously for construction.

We submitted an application in May 2024 to our funder Sustrans Places for Everyone to progress to Stages 3 & 4 Developed Design. We anticipate receiving the outcome of the funding application in late June or July, and we will provide an update as soon as we do. We recognise that this will be a competitive round, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

16th September 2022
Our annual Active Travel Event is on Sunday 18 September, between 1-4 pm, and we are excited to share the activities with you and invite you to come along.
Bring your bike and get a FREE Dr bike health check (and minor repairs) or swap your bike for another one. We also have bikes we can give away.
Children can bring their bikes and DECORATE them or learn new BIKE SKILLS from our bikeablity team or pedal to blend a delicious SMOOTHIE.
Try an E-BIKE or CARGO BIKE, learn more about the shared path projects in North East Fife or participate in the family treasure hunt (prizes for all kids).
The First Responders, The Walkie Talkies, St Andrews Environmental Network and Pittenweem Consultation Team are joining us too.
There is so much to see and to do, so we hope you come and celebrate active travel with us!
Sunday, 18th Sept between 1 – pm
Pittenweem, Church Hall and in the park (weather permitted).

Bike Fix & Swap Event

21st September 2021

Join the Free Community Bike Fix & Swap Event

When: Saturday the 2nd October

Time: 1 pm – 4 pm

Where: St Monans Town Hall

Bring your old bike to fix or swap or upgrade a child’s bicycle.

If you have a bike you want to fix, donate or swap, please drop it off between 1 pm – 2 pm.

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Cyclepath St Andrews offering advice and doing minor repairs and get bikes ready for the swap
  • Swap/donate your bike for an upgrade
  • Kids bikes for sale
  • Information stands and maps of shared path projects across the East Neuk – we are looking for community feedback!

ACTIVITIES:

  • Smoothie bike
  • Pedal-powered slot car racing game
  • Obstacle course for children (TBC)
  • Decorate your bike
  • Arts & Crafts for kids

Hope to see you there.

Our Shared Path survey shows a huge amount of support for our project

9th May 2021

The results of our shared path consultation are in! Thanks to those who participated. The vast majority of the respondents (541) support a path between Earlsferry and Pittenweem.


The results of our consultation have been published and can be found here

Elie, St Monans and Pittenweem have their say on active travel paths linking communities

18th March 2021

A consultation on shared use paths linking communities from Earlsferry to Pittenweem opens today.  It’s an opportunity for everyone in those communities to have their say on the project proposals to improve links for walking, cycling and wheeling. The consultation takes around four or five minutes and can be done easily on a smart phone.

Survey link: https://form.jotform.com/plumpie/earlsferrypittenweempath

Local charity East Neuk Community Action Plan is the organisation that initiated the project. Chair Edward Baxter said: “We want to hear from local people what their concerns are around walking and cycling, for example with kids or wheeling a buggy.  Responding to this consultation will help shape the sort of high quality, safe and direct path that could be built to link our communities.” 

Sustrans Infrastructure Officer Chris Coldwell said: “We are delighted to support this project and encourage locals and those who regularly visit the area on foot or by bike to use the consultation to give their views. Community engagement is a key part of all our projects and we cannot wait to see the ideas that the community come up with.”

East Neuk Community Action Plan has been awarded a further £31,000 through Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme, which is funded by Transport Scotland, to develop a feasibility study for a traffic free path route. Consultant Crispin Hayes said: “We’re really pleased to be working with ENCAP on this locally important project.  We will be feeding back to the community soon after the consultation closes in a fortnight – so you will be able to see what everyone said.”

 

This is the future! A 3700 mile bike trail from Washington D.C. to Washington State.

2nd February 2021
To read more about this exciting project click on the link here.
A similar vision in Fife has been proposed by East Neuk 50 Sustainable Cycle Route

Latest news

My fietsen! Bike stories: Sonja from ENCAP

Sonja Potjewijd, from the Netherlands is one of the Project Leads who has been working on the Earlsferry to Pittenweem shared path project. She explains how cycling has always been part of her life, and now living in Scotland she is working to help develop a better cycling awareness and infrastructure here.

I have so many wonderful memories of my adventures with bicycles! As a kid, I absolutely loved going on bike rides with my parents. Every outing felt like a brand new adventure, with so much to explore and see. In the Netherlands, where I’m from, cycling is just a natural part of our everyday lives. I have so many vivid memories of sitting on the special kids’ seat and joining my parents on their daily errands.

My cycling journey began when I got my first bike with stabilizers at the age of 3. I felt like such a cool kid, riding around in my red jacket and hat, exploring the friendly streets of my neighbourhood. Whether I was riding alone or with all the kids from our street, every bike ride was filled with excitement and joy.

With such a great biking infrastructure in the Netherlands, no matter the weather – whether it was sunny, rainy, or snowy – I hopped on my bike to go to school, the park, sports activities, or to meet up with friends. I even enjoyed cycling with my grandparents through the beautiful woodlands on weekends. During holidays, we’d load our bikes onto the car and go on adventures across the Netherlands, discovering all the hidden gems of the country. There’s just so much to see and experience when you’re out and about on your bike, and the feeling of freedom and happiness it brings is simply unbeatable.

One of my most beloved bikes was a vibrant yellow and blue one I received as a gift when I finished primary school and transitioned to secondary school. I have so many wonderful memories with that bike, from carrying my school bag and gymnastics gear to having my best friend Linda on the back and using it for delivering papers during my first job, as well as for camping gear and picnic supplies. There’s nothing quite like spending time outdoors with friends and enjoying a lovely picnic!

During my university days, I had a worn-out, unassuming bike to deter potential thieves. This trusty bike carried all sorts of props for theatre plays, including up to four chairs at a time, as well as memories of my first real boyfriend.

As I grew older, I invested in a more expensive bike that has accompanied me on adventures across the globe, from cycling north to south in the Netherlands, to exploring from Bangkok to the mountains above Chiang Mai, and even embarking on journeys from Washington D.C. to Virginia.

Having recently moved to Scotland, I find myself missing the sense of freedom and security I felt while cycling in the Netherlands. This longing has motivated me to get involved in supporting organisations like Sustrans and local groups such as ENCAP with the goal of creating a more bike-friendly culture and infrastructure in Scotland and contributing to the development of shared-use path projects.

Meet the cyclist

Meet the amazing Dr. Richard Bowditch! He commutes by bike and often uses his bike or skateboard to visit his patients in care homes in East Neuk. How cool is that! In the pictures, you can see his bike and skateboard in his examination room.

The distances between villages in East Neuk are perfect for walking, cycling, and wheeling. A decent off-road shared path project will massively improve the options for people to move around pleasantly and safely, creating happier and healthier neighbourhoods.

 

 

 

Changes to Sustrans Places for Everyone funding programme

Crispin Hayes, Whole Cycle Ltd,  lead consultant to the Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project gives us his reaction to the changes in funding by Transport Scotland that will affect this and other active path community projects 

In February this year, Transport Scotland announced a decision to wind up the Sustrans Places for Everyone funding programme over the next year and a half, finally closing in September 2025, and not providing any new construction funding from now. 

Transport Scotland’s replacement is a new construction fund that will be distributed direct to Local Authorities only and not community organisations. I think that is a pity because community organisations have a much greater focus on working for their local community. My concern is that communities will lose control of their project, because essentially they do the design stages, and then hand it over to the Council to do the construction. 

It also risks projects like Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project not being near the top of the Council’s large pool of projects. And it is subject to other political and budget factors outside the community’s control. 

Our current approach is to liaise closely with Council officers to ensure they are stakeholders in these design stages, and that local support means the project has to be considered seriously for construction.

As we said previously, Earlsferry to Pittenweem Shared Path project applied in May 2024 to our funder Sustrans Places for Everyone to move to Stages 3 & 4 Developed Design. We expect to hear about the result of that funding application in late June or July, and we will update when we do know. We understand that it will be a competitive round, so fingers crossed. 

 

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