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Glasgow City Council

Spaces for People - FAQs


Here you can find the answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about Spaces for People.

For a summary of the programme and access to useful links, please see our Spaces for People homepage.

What is Spaces for People?

Spaces for People has delivered a significant number of temporary travel interventions across the city to ease physical distancing in public places - mainly through the provision of widened footways, road closures and segregated cycle lanes.

The programme also increased pedestrian priority at crossing points, created additional space at busier bus stops and improved access to parks and open spaces.

Why was Spaces for People Needed?

Spaces for People temporary travel infrastructure was introduced at the start of COVID-19 to suppress the spread of the virus and help manage demand on public transport.

The programme also sought to support business operation and recovery in the city centre and at local hubs by providing additional footway space to ease pedestrian movement and provide extra queuing space.

How was it Funded?

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. 

When the programme is complete, we will have used c.£5.9m of grant funding to implement and maintain measures as well as making many of these permanent.

What Was Delivered?

The first Spaces for People measures implemented in Spring 2020 included the closure of Kelvin Way to vehicles and the creation of a westbound cycle lane on the Clydeside which runs from Saltmarket to the Clyde Arc.

Since then many other projects across our city centre and neighbourhoods have delivered extra space for distancing and to encourage active travel.

Full programme details can be found here.

What Do Measures Look Like?

Footway Widening in George Square:

SFP: George Square Refresh 1

A Pop-Up Cycle Lane on Cumbernauld Rd:

Cumbernauld Rd complete cycle lane 3

Use of Shared Space on Kelvin Way:

Kelvin Way complete 2

Can I Suggest a Location for Spaces for People?

The Spaces for People programme has now delivered all measures as part of its planned programme. There is therefore no scope for further suggestions for new measures to be made.

In Summer 2020, 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.  Over 16,000 contributions were received and these were used to inform future Spaces for People plans, with temporary interventions prioritised that offered the greatest benefit to public health, balanced the needs of all users, and could 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.

Will the Measures Become Permanent?

Whilst Spaces for People temporary measures made it easier to stay a safe distance from others, much of the infrastructure also increases the viability and appeal of walking, wheeling and cycling for everyday journeys, and therefore if kept could contribute to the prioritisation of sustainable transport across the city.  An independent review was therefore commissioned to look at whether to retain or remove measures - the findings of which were accepted by the council's City Administration Committee on 16 September 2021.

Key report recommendations that have either been actioned or are being taken forward include:

  • The permanent retention of all Spaces for People segregated cycle lanes which offer around 40km of additional dedicated cycling space
  • To keep footway widening measures and urban greening around George Square and Merchant City, as well as infrastructure that supports physical distancing around city centre transport hubs and bus stops
  • That the 'People Friendly Streets' measures at Dennistoun, Shawlands and Pollokshields East should be made permanent
  • The removal of all footway widening measures within city neighbourhoods, except for the road closure and associated infrastructure on Kelvin Way

In undertaking the analysis, cycle count data was considered, as was the outcomes of a consultation which received 3,749 responses and showed a 'strong skew' towards the retention of all measures. There was also an assessment of how interventions ally with existing active travel and sustainability goals. 

Future schemes not yet delivered which are expected to support similar strategic aims were also factored into the independent assessment, alongside a consideration of our core paths network.


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