Glasgow’s Spaces for People programme has secured an additional £4m of funding from Sustrans Scotland to expand, enhance and maintain initiatives that support physical distancing in public places to help suppress COVID-19.
This latest development takes the total amount awarded to the council for Spaces for People initiatives to £7.5m, and will be used to expedite the expansion of temporary travel infrastructure projects that provide extra space for people to walk, wheel and cycle as lockdown restrictions ease.
In addition to the continuance of work to widen footways in busier areas and the implementation of pop-up cycle lanes to encourage active travel, this latest funding boost will facilitate the progress of other measures including plans to develop Park and Pedal and Park and Stride facilities at satellite car parks, along with the roll-out of additional pedestrian priority measures at traffic light controlled junctions.
Clearance of overhanging vegetation that can narrow footways across city neighbourhoods has also been identified as a practical way to make it easier to keep a safe distance from others when travelling actively. Other initiatives to be advanced include the expansion of School Car Free Zones.
These latest plans are expected to complement infrastructure already delivered, with the earliest Spaces for People projects seeing Kelvin Way closed to traffic to facilitate access to Kelvingrove Park, and the creation of a Clydeside pop-up cycle lane to ease physical distancing on nearby footways.
Other measures delivered include the provision of additional pedestrian space around Glasgow Central and Queen Street stations and footway widening across key city centre streets. The east and west sides of George Square have been pedestrianised, with sustainable transport corridors created nearby. Further initiatives introduced in the city centre to stifle COVID-19 include traffic light automation that removes the need for pedestrians to touch equipment to prompt the green man to display.
Short-term measures across neighbourhoods has seen the removal of kerbside parking in areas of high pedestrian footfall to allow for footway widening, with temporary infrastructure now in place in areas including Easterhouse, Cessnock, Bridgeton and Partick.
Spaces for People has also boosted cycling provision across the city, with pop-up cycle lanes now in use on the Broomielaw, London Road, Great Western Road, Gorbals Street and Cumbernauld Road. Locations for future pop-ups will be cognisant of suggestions made by the public via the Commonplace platform, with plans already under consideration for St Andrews Drive, Wallacewell Road and Edinburgh Road.
Cllr Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said: “Throughout the city we have been repurposing our roads and footways to provide extra space for walking, wheeling and cycling and help people maintain physical distancing during the Covid-19 emergency. The breadth of measures we’ve delivered so far shows our clear commitment to creating the safer spaces necessary to help people get on with their lives and accelerate our recovery.
“These changes can also encourage more and more of us to consider sustainable travel as a viable long term choice that not only benefits our environment but also our wellbeing. I’m delighted that our second Spaces for People bid to Sustrans Scotland was successful meaning we can build further on the infrastructure we’ve created so far.”
John Lauder, Deputy CEO of Sustrans and Executive Director for Scotland said:
“The huge interest and demand in our Spaces for People fund over the past few months, has made it clear that people recognise the importance and benefits which come with travelling actively and sustainably for everyday journeys and exercise.
“However, we also know that perceptions of safety, and the lack of choices for quiet or traffic-free walking and cycling routes to key destinations, is a key barrier to people considering a viable alternative to their car.”
Funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Sustrans Scotland, Spaces for People is a temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland which offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for permitted journeys and exercise, while physical distancing is in place during COVID-19 and as lockdown restrictions ease.
More information on Spaces for People is available at www.glasgow.gov.uk/