Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:40 GMT on Friday, 9th November 2012.
'Walking to Win' - Cumbernauld Media take the high road from Abronhill to Cumbernauld High School


AB ABOVE: Part of the Abronhill to Cumbernauld High route. Picture is copyright of Cumbernauld Media/ Scott Campbell.
AS A Cumbernauld resident I have explored much of our wonderful town; as a child I went exploring the roaming woods of our town, the spiralling ramps of our town centre and the twisted winding pavements throughout Cumbernauld, many of which have been taken back by mother nature, hidden or secret. 
 
However, one route I have failed to walk in my eighteen years of residence in our town is the route which North Lanarkshire Council suggests pupils take from Abronhill if they close Abronhill High School and move the pupil and staff populous to Cumbernauld High School, in Kildrum.
 
Today, (Friday 9th November 2012) I interviewed Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP MSP, who told me that he would fight with every fibre in his body to save Abronhill High School and recommend new builds for both communities. After the interview I decided to walk from his Village office to Abronhill High School.
 
I headed out and quickly found myself walking through the Glen. What did I expect to see? Well, rumours paint pictures of drunken youths, gangs and other miscellaneous individuals who pose a risk to my safety. Instead, I encountered smiling Cumbernauldians who said ‘hello’ as they passed me under the woodland shaded Glen pavements.
 
The greetings reassured me that I was safe and within ten minutes I had made it to the bridge at Spruce Road. I walked over it and arrived quickly at the community’s shopping centre.
 
Upon arrival I presented my photography equipment and snapped up the images which will be on Cumbernauld Media within the next couple of days and weeks, as the Save Abronhill High School campaign steps up campaigning and the council’s consultation on the rationalisation draws to a close.
 
I took over one hours’ worth of video content and a further two-hundred pictures, sometimes under the gaze of suspicious passers-by, although suspicious was abated when I informed them I was gathering content for a documentary in the proposals laid out by the local authority.
After I gathered my content I began to walk the route which will be trodden by local anti-closure campaigns as they ‘Walk to Win’ on Saturday 17th November.
 
It quickly became apparent in my mind that this is a route which will cause local problems. I was safe in my journey today, although this was with the absence of hundreds of school pupils, some of whom will have territorial issues with their new colleagues at Cumbernauld High.  Nevertheless, the fears of pupils, staff and parents are genuine and safety will be threatened. Early, dark winter days will see some pupils forced to walk the journey, and with little lighting, dreary underpasses and dangerously enclosed woodland. This is a threat Motherwell based Councillors cannot seem to understand.
 
This is a proposal which always concerned me, however, now I have walked the walk alone I understand, on a personal level. The concerns are real and no amount of rejection of the threats by North Lanarkshire Council or Strathclyde Police will account for the real fear parents, staff and pupils are feeling.
 
The consultation closes on 20th November and a committee at North Lanarkshire Council will pass or reject the proposal in February.  
 
 

 
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