Yesterday afternoon campaigners, MPs and interest groups gathered at Valley Park Community Centre in Southhouse to release a feasibility study of a proposed path following the Burdiehouse Burn.
In the centre of the proposed route is Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Edinburgh BioQuarter.
Supporters of the development say that the pathway will offer an alternative route to work for many thousands of people working in the ‘largest concentration of employment in southeast Edinburgh’ and that this will ‘help alleviate congestion issues’.
Charlie Cumming, chief executive of the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust said that the route will: “Enable local people greater off-road access to one of Edinburgh’s highest concentrations of jobs.”
The path, which aims to mirror the ‘fantastic’ Water of Leith walkway, will also open up green space for communities along the route to enjoy and exercise on.
Bruce Bennet , secretary of the Friends of Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park, said: “A new pathway that emulates the water of Leith Walkway will create an array of links and opportunities for residents to live longer, healthier and happier lives.”
Many historic and significant sites such as Craigmillar Castle, Gilmerton Cove, Ellen’s Glen, Burdiehouse Limekilns, St Catherine’s Oily Well and the Mortonhall Estate, Gracemount House, Inch House and Liberton House and Tower will be made more accessible by the route.
And opening up these sites will help spread the benefits of tourism beyond Edinburgh’s city centre and campaigners say this could lead to economic development.
Mr Bennet said: “The Friends group has worked long and hard with the council and local residents to make Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park much better and cleaner.
“A new pathway that emulates the water of Leith Walkway will create an array of links and opportunities for residents to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
“We’re also determined to bring more visitors to the area to visit the park, other green spaces and key historic attractions like the wonderful Gilmerton Cove.”
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council attended the launch of the feasibility study.
She said: “It’s exciting to help launch the feasibility study, and its vision of an accessible active travel link for the southeast of Edinburgh.
“This study reflects the Council’s aims to encourage cycling and walking as enjoyable and healthy modes of transport by providing safe, welcoming routes, connecting new and existing developments.”