IMPROVEMENTS to the Cambus to Alloa pathway has led to a four-fold rise in its number of users.

According to Sustrans 13,364 people travelled the National Cycle Network in 2007, but after works funded by Transport Scotland and Clackmannanshire Council the number increased to 58,000 in 2011.

John Lauder, Sustrans' national director for Scotland, praised the trail's positive impact.

He said, "Cycling and walking are the answers to our rising fuel bills and expanding waistlines, but we need safe routes like the one between Cambus and Alloa to feel comfortable travelling by bike and foot."

Lauder said that it was a great example of off-road biking and use of community space and feels it is time for government ministers to have the foresight to properly fund cycling and walking.

He added, "Now the people of Cambus and Alloa can make safe, healthy, cheap and green journeys when commuting, making the school run or doing the weekly shop."

As reported in the Advertiser previously, in May Keith Brown MSP and Provost Tina Murphy opened the connecting Menstrie to Tullibody path.

The traffic-free route utilizes the old railway line and adds to the existing network, which includes the Devon Way between Alloa and Dollar.

Jenna (33) and David Binnie (33) from Alva bike the track to keep fit. Jenna said, "It's even better since the upgrade from Alva to Menstrie and the new cycle path from Menstrie to Tullibody. We do the circular - it's a great route."

Josh Currie (17) from Menstrie added, "I started cycling again purely because they completed the line through to Menstrie. On Wednesday morning I went a cycle and it was pretty busy. I think it's a great thing to have."

Tullibody Healthy Living's community development worker Tracy Gibson uses the Cambus-Alloa route for group walks on a regular basis. She said, "It's an absolutely fantastic walk and from our own experience, whenever we are on it, it's really busy. I have seen families out on bikes, dog walkers, walkers and joggers whilst I have been on it. I even walked it every morning one week when my car was in the garage - I live in Tillicoultry and it was quicker to get the bus to Menstrie and walk up to Tullibody than do the round-robin bus route through Sauchie and Alloa. And I can tell you, even at 8am the cycle route is being used by a variety of walkers, runners and cyclists."

Sustrans' Case Study: 2007 Cambus to Alloa annual usage - 13,364 2011 Cambus to Alloa annual usage - 58, 041 2011 annual usage cyclists - 24,0662 2011 annual usage pedestrians - 28,415 Gender - 33,171 male, 24,870 female Age of users - 9380 (children), 44,068 (16-64), 4593 (65+)