THE Ardrossan to West Kilbride shore road path has always been a popular route for cyclists and walkers alike.

So many may believe that widening this path would be a welcome initiative - but it has been far from it, according to some.

This stretch of road is managed by infrastructure support service provider Amey, and the recent improvements works were, and still are, being carried out - to the tune of £600,000.

One concerned Seamill resident brought their concerns to the Herald, saying as a keen cyclist, they fear that the extended path has simply added to a historical issue.

The adjacent stretch of beach is a visitor hotspot on hot summer days, leading to parking along the verge of the path, not just the car parks along the road.

With several spells of hot weather in the summer, this has lead to what has been described as “irresponsible” parking.

The newly extended parts of the path have been used by not bike tyres, but car tyres, as beach-goers park up as close to their favourite part of the sand as possible.

Some cars have even been pictured parking with all four tyres on the tarmac, creating what was described as a “serious accident” waiting to happen, as cyclists and walkers navigate the obstacle course of cars.

Then, of course, there is the costs of the work.

Has £600k really been spent on extended parking spaces, rather than more walking and cycling space.

Councillor for the North Coast, Todd Ferguson, looked to shed some light on the difficult situation.

He has acknowledged the issues and concerns, though explained that there is no easy fix.

He said: “The active travel improvements and investment along the A78 between the Montfode roundabout and Seamill are welcomed.

“However, there has long been a historical problem with drivers parking up on the roadside verges along this section of the A78, particularly during the good summer weather.

“It is not an easy problem to address.

“Technically speaking parking upon the verges is not illegal. If crash barriers were to be erected then drivers would no doubt simply park on the opposite side of the road instead, which would cause a bigger issue.

“I have discussed the possibility of extending the car parks as a solution but this is equally challenging as NAC lease these car parks from Montgomery Estates. As far as I have been advised there are currently no plans to extend them further.”

Cllr Ferguson also stated that these prospective issues had been raised with Amey, and while this parking is frustrating, works to improve the road are welcomed.

“All of these concerns were raised with Amey back in April, at the beginning of the project.

“Since then, I have been in regular contact with Amey relating to the historical issues and I have been advised that there have been a number of stakeholder meetings between Amey, Police Scotland, and NAC Roads teams to try and find a workable solution.

“What is certain is that people have always parked along this section of road and that should not be a reason to stop investment to improve active travel routes locally.

“Perhaps drivers should be less selfish in parking across cycling and pedestrian routes in the first instance.”

Amey were approached by the Herald for comment, however had not replied by the time we went to print.

What are your views? Let us know at