Water of Leith Path Upgrade

Water of Leith Path Upgrade

Improved access along a strategic route to enable people of all abilities to be more active.

ELGT are to undertake upgrading of the path along the Water of Leith form the Union Canal to Balerno during June to August 2022. These improvements are as identified within the Water of Leith Management Plan 2020-2030 and are being funded by Sustrans and Transport for Scotland as part of improving the National Cycle Network for Scotland.

The project has been developed following consultation with various stakeholders including The Water of Leith Conservation Trust and the Natural Heritage Service. Through this it identified the need to upgrade sections of the path to enable all users to be able to use it as many sections were very muddy and difficult to navigate along. The route has seen many improvements along the Water of Leith, including new bridges, and a 1 km section of path which was upgraded by ELGT at Currie Kirkgate four years ago.

The upgraded 8km section will use a recycled material called Ultitrec (not a sealed surface) that will result in less maintenance requirements and along with drainage and other associated works will result in a surface that will allow better access for all abilities. This surface is recommended by Sustrans when a sealed surface is not feasible, or desired.

The first section of the path to be upgraded is from the Union Canal, Lanark Road, to Colinton Tunnel, with works starting on Monday 6th June for a period of 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately due to the machinery being used and the need for the path surface to settle before use this will mean that the public will need to use alternative routes. Maps of these will be supplied and posted both on-line and on site. For further information about the works contact ross@elgt.org.uk

The next phase of works will be from Colinton Tunnel to the by-pass following on from the initial phase of works from approximately 27th June for 2-3 weeks and further phases of work will be timetabled once the supply of the materials is known.

It is unfortunate that these improvements will need to be undertaken at this busy period of the year, however for the path surface material to stabilise it needs to be laid in the warmer weather.

The NCN route 75 links Scotland’s two largest cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow via the towns of Currie, Bathgate and Livingston. It is 158km long which runs from the Port of Leith to Gourock. Part of the route includes the UK’s largest continuous mural at the Colinton Tunnel which has led to an increase in the use of the route.

The path upgrades will enable people of all abilities to use the path which runs along the unique Water of Leith beautiful green corridor. The path goes past several cultural and historical elements including old mills. It will improve the links to the path network in the area to enable people to explore the city and beyond.

The Water of Leith walkway is much-loved route for people walking, wheeling and cycling but as a regular user I know it can be muddy and less accessible in places. These upgrades will be transformative, helping even more people to enjoy the path as part of our excellent network of off-road routes spanning the city or perhaps just to visit the fantastic Colinton Tunnel mural. Once the walkway improvements are complete, lighting will be installed on the Spylaw Park section by the Council’s Parks and Green space team to encourage people in west Colinton to use this walking route into the village. Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport & Environment Convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council

Funded by: Sustrans, Transport Scotland


  • Upgrade a 8km section of path along the NCN 75 in south west Edinburgh
  • Drainage works



  • enable people of all abilities to use the path.
  • provide a safe surface all year round.
  • encourage people to be more active.