Temporary travel infrastructure that provides additional public space for walking, wheeling and cycling during COVID-19 has been introduced across Glasgow, with remaining programme measures due to be completed soon.
Supported by funding from the Scottish Government administered by Sustrans Scotland, Glasgow's Spaces for People programme has delivered short-term measures implemented in our city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes - forming a key part of the city's strategy for economic recovery.
Spaces for People has widened footways at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to shops, businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs. Temporary strategic cycling routes have also been implemented to help present active travel as a convenient and viable choice for journeys such as commuting, as well as for physical exercise.
A significant amount of road space was reallocated for walking and wheeling at the start of the pandemic in anticipation of a gradual lessening of restrictions. Given the COVID-19 restrictions have lasted longer than originally anticipated, some of these measures were recently removed to allow a focus on delivering temporary infrastructure where it's most needed and to improve its look and feel.
Larger style planters and trees are now in place around George Square to green the space as well as restrict vehicle movement.
Complementary work is also expected around St Vincent Place and Queen Street, as well as Merchant City.
Temporary footway widening will remain in situ around our main transport hubs and busier bus stops, however further measures may be needed elsewhere as and when restrictions are anticipated to ease, and footfall starts to increase.
Details of all measures introduced in our city centre can be found here.
This element of the programme has freed up pedestrian space where it's most needed such as outside local shops, and has primarily been achieved through the removal of kerbside parking.
We initially widened footways at Easterhouse, Cardonald, Tollcross, Parkhead, Cessnock, Shawlands, Bridgeton, Partick (Dumbarton Rd), Finnieston and Byres Road. Whilst some of the footway widening measures have since been removed following a period of monitoring and review, the infrastructure can be readily reinstated should the need arise. This flexible approach also applies to other areas such as Berryknowes, Cathcart, Croftfoot, Gorbals, Govan, Duke Street, Possilpark, Shettleston and Springburn - with detailed plans already drawn up for these areas which can be mobilised quickly if required.
Changes were also made to the road layout on Kelvin Way to balance the provision of extra space for walkers, wheelers and cyclists whilst enabling vehicular access into the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - see Sustrans' video of how locals are enjoying the new space.
Details of all measures introduced across our neighbourhoods can be found here.
People Friendly Streets:
Schemes to create 'people friendly streets' are now complete at Shawlands, Dennistoun and Pollokshields. These projects aim to make neighbourhood streets calmer, and create additional space for walking, wheeling and cycling.
Car Free Zones:
We have also expanded the number of School Car Free Zones. These zones are designed to prohibit cars and other vehicles from driving up to school gates between 8.30am and 9.15am and then 2.30pm and 3.15pm each weekday, during term time; leaving extra space for walking, wheeling and cycling.
More details about the schools involved and the way the scheme operates can be found here.
Pop-Up Cycle Lanes:
This workstream has created temporary cycling infrastructure that encourages active travel to be considered as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.
We have created temporary pop-up cycle lanes at Broomielaw, Dumbreck Road, London Road (Phase 1 and Phase 2), Great Western Road (Duntreath Avenue to Lincoln Avenue), Gorbals Street, Cumbernauld Road, Provanmill Road, Bilsland Drive, Hawthorn Street, Brockburn Road, Braidcraft Road, Cambridge Street and Royston Road.
Details of all the pop-up cycle lanes introduced can be found here.
Improved Access to Parks and Open Space:
We have increased signage within our parks and providing wayfinding on routes to help ease physical distancing, along with vegetation clearance to remove obstructions on public footways.
Increased Pedestrian Priority at Junctions:
An early Spaces for People intervention saw the need for pedestrians to use the push buttons at crossings eliminated to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This popular measure which is now in operation at over 50 sets of lights is being rolled out more widely throughout the city.
An online Spaces for People survey closed on 20 June 2021 after six weeks. The survey sought views on the infrastructure delivered and whether any should be retained permanently. Over 3,700 responses were received.
We consulted because Spaces for People projects have the potential to help deliver other outcomes unrelated to the pandemic such as:
Survey responses will help us better understand public opinion on Spaces for People projects, and to gauge which measures people wish to see retained or removed. Feedback from survey respondents on which measures have worked well, and which perhaps less so, will also be taken on board by the council to help shape future active travel infrastructure planning.
All survey responses received will feed into a monitoring and review process agreed with Sustrans Scotland which will include the appointment of an independent consultant to consider the infrastructure delivered and make recommendations on which should be kept.
This review will take place in the summer and a report presented to the City Administration Committee thereafter.