To help suppress the spread of COVID-19, we are introducing temporary measures across the city to provide additional space for physical distancing whilst out walking, wheeling and cycling.
We are widening footways at pinch points in our city centre and neighbourhoods to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to shops, businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs. Temporary strategic cycling routes that highlight active travel as an attractive, viable choice for essential journeys as well as exercise, are also being implemented.
Schemes that discourage 'through traffic' within areas we know are routinely used as rat-runs, are in development with the first low traffic neighbourhood currently in progress at Dennistoun. These projects aim to make neighbourhood streets calmer and more people-friendly, and so encourage connected walking, wheeling and cycling.
We are also expanding 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.
Continuing on from the measures implemented to date, future plans for the Spaces for People programme will include:
In collaboration with Sustrans Scotland, we made available a Commonplace Mapping Tool which enabled users to highlight 'pinch points' across the city centre and neighbourhoods, where emergency temporary measures such as pavement widening and new cycle lanes could be introduced to help people maintain physical distancing and suppress a resurgence of the virus.
The platform closed on 10 July 2020 after being open for suggestions for several weeks.
Over 16,000 contributions were received and these will be used to inform future Spaces for People plans, with temporary interventions prioritised that offer the greatest benefit to public health, balances the needs of all users, and can be delivered in a short timeframe.
Examples of projects that were taken forward (in whole or in part) due to suggestions made on Commonplace include the segregated cycle lanes on Clarence Drive, additional cycle parking in the city centre and the addition of a segregated cycle lane within Kelvin Way which has been closed to vehicular traffic since May 2020.
Transport Scotland's Spaces for People programme, administered by Sustrans Scotland, offered 100% funding to put in place temporary measures to enable physical distancing while walking, wheeling and cycling.
The council initially bid for, and was awarded, £3.5m to support the introduction of temporary physical distancing measures across the city.
In August, our further funding bid of £4m was successful and will be used to expand, enhance and maintain initiatives that support physical distancing in public places. This latest development takes the total amount awarded to the council for Spaces for People initiatives to £7.5m.
As of 21 August 2020, the funding scheme is now closed with over £38m allocated to local authorities for pop-up walking and cycling infrastructure through the Spaces for People initiative.
Spaces for People measures are being implemented so that everyone can walk, wheel and cycle around their local area safely whilst keeping to physical distancing requirements.
To manage how our roads are used, the council ordinarily use Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) - a lengthy process that requires public consultation. The Scottish Government has however identified COVID-19 as a danger to the public and as such is one of those circumstances where local authorities can use temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) to introduce temporary measures.
TTROs require no prior consultation and are relatively flexible so there is the potential for the council to assess and put in place temporary measures relatively quickly and responsively.
Sustrans has teamed up with Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland and various active travel organisations in Scotland, to provide a summary of things to consider when walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid-19:
Be safe - Look after yourself and those in your care
Be smart - Stay in your local area and plan ahead
Find out more here.