Sustrans Scotland has awarded £3.5m to Glasgow’s Space for Distancing scheme which will provide additional space for physical distancing in public places amid Covid-19 measures
Funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans, the Spaces for People initiative will provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
Temporary travel infrastructure
The funding will go towards temporary travel infrastructure in the city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes, and will form a key part of the city’s strategy for economic recovery.
These measures will help to ensure sufficient space on footways for businesses and their customers while the requirement for 2 metres of social distancing remains in place.
Space for Distancing will see footways widened at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to community facilities and public transport hubs.
Consideration will also be given to the positioning of temporary strategic cycling routes to highlight cycling as a viable commuting choice.
Areas with high pedestrian footfall such as Byres Road, Partick, Shawlands, Maryhill and Dennistoun have already been identified as places where short-term measures can be introduced.
Other neighbourhood hubs such as Pollok, Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk will also be examined for suitability.
In the long term, and once restrictions begin to ease, it is anticipated that walking and cycling will continue to be considered a safe and convenient mode of transport that benefits health and air quality.
Enable safe travel
Sustrans deputy CEO John Lauder, said: “We are encouraged to see walking, cycling and wheeling being central to the government’s plan to enable people to travel safely during Covid-19.
“We have been delighted with the response to our Spaces for People fund so far.
“Over the past three weeks we have researched and launched the programme and had 26 local authorities register their interest. In the last week we have awarded funding to 9 partners, totalling £12m – a really speedy response to a new funding stream.
“Local Authorities are to be commended for their speed of reaction in taking up the opportunity for new funding.
“This additional funding will allow all local authorities and statutory bodies who want to to apply and secure funding to help provide a positive and lasting change in our walking, cycling and wheeling habits as we transition out of lockdown.
“And we encourage the public to contact their local authority where they can see the need for wider pavements and safer roads and streets for cycling and wheeling.”
Managing the road network
Funded by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans Scotland, Spaces for People is a new, temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland which offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during Covid-19.
Following the announcement that the initial £10m funding pot will be extended to £30m, the council intends to submit a further bid to the fund.