A BID to transform a disused railway from Ayr to Girvan into a safe active travel route has gathered pace during lockdown – with the council backing ambitious plans.

Campaigners of ‘Culzean Way’ say the time to implement change is now, giving the ever growing numbers of walkers, runners and cyclists a new a route to use.

South Ayrshire Paths Initiative (SAPI) are promoting a route which will pass through the picturesque seaside locations of Dunure, Culzean, Maidens and Turnberry before finishing up in Girvan.

It comes as the coronavirus lockdown saw a boom in people making use of the good weather to get out for daily exercise.

Stuart Bates, who is leading the project said: “As the weeks have progressed, more people have walked, more people have cycled, vehicle numbers have increased, but the situation is still pleasant.

“What we have seen though, is a clear demonstration of a strong latent demand for active travel, for exercise and commuting.”

“In the disused coastal railway line from Ayr to Girvan we have a ready-made template for a safe active travel route through that scenic countryside.”

Campaigners see the creation of the new path as an opportunity to boost tourism and local business

Stuart added: “We are promoting this safe active travel route as ‘The Culzean Way’ joining Ayr, Dunure, Culzean, Maidens, Turnberry and Girvan.”

“It will surely be a win not only for residents all along the route, but for Maybole and all the inland villages.”

“And a win for the wider area; a superb all-abilities facility within reach. A win for businesses too; more visitors for cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops and hotels.”

The ambitions plans have received backing from the council, who say they are keen to explore the opportunity further.

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “A new active travel route between Ayr and Girvan has many advantages and would support our ambitions to promote walking and cycling across South Ayrshire.

“We have been in contact with the SAPI about their proposals and we would be happy to continue these discussions.”