GLASGOW’S Space for Distancing initiative has been awarded £3.5million from Sustrans Scotland to support physical distancing measures across the city and help to stifle the spread of Covid-19.
The money comes the Scottish Government-funded Spaces for People programme which will provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
The money will go towards temporary travel infrastructure in the city centre, neighbourhoods and active travel routes, and will form a key part of the city’s strategy for economic recovery. The measures 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.
The funding award follows on from the recent closure of Kelvin Way to vehicles, and the creation of the Clydeside cycle lane, pictured, which runs from Saltmarket to the Clyde Arc, and is designed to ease pressure for pedestrians on the Clyde Walkway.
Space for Distancing will see footways widened 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.
Longer term, and once pandemic 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.
Following the announcement that the initial £10m Spaces for People funding pot will be extended to £30million, Glasgow City Council intends to submit a further bid to the fund.