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Glasgow's physical distancing initiative receives funding boost from Sustrans

The city has been awarded £3.5m from Sustrans Scotland, which it will put towards temporary travel infrastructure to support safe distancing to help stifle the spread of Covid-19.

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Money will go towards Glasgow's Space for Distancing initiative
Money will go towards Glasgow's Space for Distancing initiative

The Scottish city of Glasgow’s Space for Distancing initiative has been awarded £3.5m from Sustrans Scotland to support physical distancing measures across the city and help suppress the spread of Covid-19.

 

The money 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.

 

Spaces for People

 

The award comes as part of Sustrans’ Spaces for People programme, funded by Transport 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.

 

The measures Glasgow puts in place will help to ensure sufficient space on footways for businesses and their customers while the requirement for two metres of physical distancing between people remains in place.

 

This funding award follows on from the recent closure of Kelvin Way to vehicles and the creation of the Clydeside cycle lane, which runs from Saltmarket to the Clyde Arc, and is designed to ease pressure for pedestrians on the Clyde Walkway.

 

One of the aims is to widen footways 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 an attractive, 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.

"These changes can also be a catalyst to encourage more and more of us to consider sustainable travel as a viable long-term choice that not only benefits our economy and our environment but also our health and wellbeing too."

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.

 

"While we are planning a long-term recovery and renewal for Glasgow’s economy, it is also vital that we consider the short-term measures we need to take to manage our road network differently – now, and as lockdown restrictions are eased,” said Susan Aitken, council leader and city convener for Inclusive Economic Growth.

 

"From reconfiguring our roads and footways to provide extra space for pedestrians, mobility and wheelchair users to the creation of temporary cycle lanes; different combinations will be considered to fit the needs and characters of different neighbourhoods, as well as our city centre.

 

"I’m delighted that our bid to Sustrans Scotland was successful, meaning we can move forward at pace with our plans to implement physical distancing measures, making essential travel and exercise safer during Covid-19.

 

"These changes can also be a catalyst to encourage more and more of us to consider sustainable travel as a viable long-term choice that not only benefits our economy and our environment but also our health and wellbeing too."

 

Following the announcement earlier this weeks that the initial £10m funding pot will be extended to £30m, the council intends to submit a further bid to the fund.

 

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