THE leader of a Scottish political party has put her support behind those with accessibility concerns surrounding the proposed Ardrossan Connections plans.

Collette Walker, leader of the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP), has weighed in on the Sustrans plans created in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and Ardrossan Community Development Trust.

Ms Walker, who has an eye condition called Aniridia, a serious and rare genetic eye disorder which causes sight loss, is now a guide dog owner.

She was asked to attend the walk around the Victoria Road cycle route in Glasgow organised by Sustrans Scotland last month, and then felt it necessary to raise her concerns in a letter addressed to Sustrans and North Ayrshire Council.

In the letter, seen by the Herald, Ms Walker raises various concerns including the point where Victoria Road is approached from Queen’s Park.

This area is where a cycle lane combines with pedestrian footpaths and where a cyclist, coming from Victoria Road, almost collided with Ms Walker and her guide dog.

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She also had copious concerns regarding the road layout and infrastructure, which is expected to be very similar to that we will see in Ardrossan.

Ms Walker commented: “For the last 20 years, I have been an advocate for equality and accessibility for all. Two years ago, I founded and became leader of a new political party ‘Independence for Scotland Party’.

“Visually impaired/blind people rely on either walking or using public transport, so it’s very important that they are safe, but sadly there is a lack of consultation regarding the needs of anyone with sight loss.

“As we are all wanting to encourage everyone to be more physically active, I do encourage more cycle lanes, but regrettably the structure that has been used in Victoria Road, Govanhill has so many flaws that it’s a massive safety concern for those who have sight loss.

“My concern is that these flaws will be replicated in Ardrossan.”

Ms Walker has asked for her concerns to be reflected in the Equality Impact Assessments of the Ardrossan Connections cycle route.

Sustrans said they would take on all feedback following the walkabout.