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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone Project/Department Filtering

Opening the Loch Indaal Way

An opening event was held in October 2021, attended by local children from Port Charlotte Primary School with music provided by the Islay Pipe Band. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

The Loch Indaal Way joins the communities of Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich via a safe, accessible and traffic-free route.

Prior to this, the sole existing link between the two communities was a section of the A847 carriageway, a national speed limit road which offers little protection to those walking wheeling and cycling on the island.

The newly completed off-road route has already proved popular with local residents and business owners, with its frequency of use expected to greatly increase when the tourist season returns.

Making waves in rural design

The Loch Indaal Way provides 2.53km of traffic-free route between the Islay communities of Bruchladdich and Port Charlotte. Credit: ©2021, Lisa Irvine/Sustrans, all rights reserved.

The Loch Indaal Way project was spearheaded by the Islay Community Access Group (ICAG), a local network of volunteers with a vision to increase health and wellbeing through greater outdoor accessibility.

Patrick McGrann, Head of the ICAG, said:

“ICAG, a small voluntary group, worked for 6 years to deliver the Loch Indaal Way. We are extremely proud of our new community asset .To see local folk and visitors of all ages and abilities enjoying access to the countryside is heart warming. We have involved our community throughout and all have ownership and satisfaction of a job well done.”

Pat McGrann, Head, Islay Community Access Group

With the support of Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, ICAG secured the a large part of the funding to deliver the 2.53km off-road active travel route.

Sustrans and ICAG previously worked together to deliver the lauded Three Distilleries Path at Port Ellen, a popular 5km active travel route which takes in the Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg distilleries.

Emily Gait, Infrastructure Coordinator for Sustrans, said:

“The Loch Indaal Way is a great example of where a community have worked together to create a project which meets the needs of the people who live and visit the area. Inclusive designs and strong community backing have been key to the ultimate success of this project.

Going forward, we hope this inspires other small communities across Scotland to nurture their own walking, wheeling and cycling ambitions.”

Emily Gait, Infrastructure Coordinator, Sustrans

Key features of the route include three upgraded and newly created crossings, as well as landscaping and placemaking initiatives such as the provision of comfortable seating areas and shrubbery sections.

Smooth gradients and minimal placement of steps also maximise accessibility for users with limited mobility.

Change through community

New and upgraded crossings, minimal steps and barriers, as well as added seating areas and landscaping initiatives were fundamental to the designs. Credit: ©2021, Lisa Irvine/Sustrans, all rights reserved.

The proposals to create a new off-road walking, wheeling and cycling route between Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich received popular community support from the outset.

Through an proactive and considered period of engagement, ICAG worked closely with local landowners to secure necessary land donations to make the path a reality.

The local Bruichladdich Distillery also became involved in the promotion and funding behind the project, even entering into a maintenance agreement with ICAG to ensure to path stays fit for purpose.

AJ Cunningham, Operations Manager at Bruichladdich Distillery, said:

“Even before the path was finalised, it was being adopted by a lot of locals. I don’t think this was out of them being inquisitive, either. It’s just a really enjoyable and risk-free way to walk where they didn’t have that option before.

I don’t think it could’ve worked out any better unless you took it all the way out to Bridgend!”.

AJ Cunningham, Operations Manager, Bruichladdich Distillery

Evident local enthusiasm for project only further increased as construction got well underway against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

A safer, healthier future

An opening event for the Loch Indaal Way took place in October 2021, featuring attendees from Port Charlotte Primary School and the Islay Pipe Band. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

At an opening event in October of last year, children from Port Charlotte Primary School led a procession along the Loch Indaal Way from the Port Ban war memorial to Bruichladdich Town Hall.

They were joined on-route by local residents, members of ICAG and the local Baptist Minister, as well as the musical stylings of the Islay Pipe Band.

After passing several renowned destinations, including the Bruichladdich Distillery, the event culminated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting, which officially opened the route for all users to enjoy.

Children from Port Charlotte Primary School have provided artworks depicting key attractions along the route, including St. Kiaran’s Church and Loch Idaal House lighthouse. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

Six months on, and The Loch Indaal Way is now an indispensable part of daily life on Islay.

A local group of swimmers use the path for convenient access to the beach as part of weekly meet-ups.

Attendees of St Kiaran’s Church hold fortnightly walks along the path.

A recently installed cycle repair station has also been well received by the community, ensuring daily errands, active commutes and leisure trips are able to continue with minimal disruption.

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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

First phase complete for £10.6m Inverness City Active Travel Network

Extending from Raigmore Interchange to the Golden Bridge, a new walking, wheeling and cycling link funded by Places for Everyone has been officially opened in Inverness.

The Raigmore Active Travel Link, will enable a safe, traffic-free option for those wishing to access Raigmore Estate, Inverness Campus, Inverness Shopping Park.

The accessible route also smartly joins up with other active travel infrastructure in the area to provide connections with Raigmore Hospital, local employers and onwards to retail and residential areas.

Accessibility in design

The Raigmore Active Travel Link is the first major phase of the landmark £10.6m Inverness City Active Travel Network to be completed.

As the first Places for Everyone project to be awarded Category 4 status in the Highlands, this marks a significant moment for the programme.

The wide route delivers a smooth and graded surface for users to make access to key destinations as convenient as possible.

The Raigmore Active Travel Link has been designed to provide a low gradient route, reducing the effects of the steep hill leading up to the Raigmore Community, providing a wide walking, wheeling and cycling ramp with rest areas for all users to enjoy.

The existing stairs which joined Raigmore Community to the interchange have been upgraded to tie into the new design, to ensure quick direct access.

The next phases of this project involve working with Transport Scotland and Sustrans at Raigmore Interchange.

Additionally, work is beginning to look at the potential for active and bus infrastructure linking the Interchange to the city centre along Millburn Road, utilising active travel and Bus Partnership Funding.

Consultation and engagement on these future phases will take place during 2022.

The site was officially opened by Elected Members, Raigmore Community Council, and the Primary 5 pupils from Raigmore Primary School nearby, who are Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) for the school .

These JSROs are an important part of the primary school as they help raise road safety awareness and promote road safety issues to everyone in the school and the wider community, and the pupils have been very eager to learn about the new infrastructure which has been created in their local area.

Pupils from Raigmore Primary School joined Council staff last week to learn about the new link. Video: The Highland Council.

The pupils joined Council staff on site last week to learn about the active travel infrastructure and to be part of some filming on the active travel link. 

Bet McAllister, Depute Provost of Inverness said:

“This is the first large active travel investment in Inverness which Highland Council have delivered in partnership with our project partners and funders Sustrans, through their Places for Everyone fund.  To have a significant, high quality investment enabling safe, direct routes for walking, wheeling and cycling will help to encourage local people to be more active for everyday journeys, while also reducing our impact on climate change.  We celebrate the opening of this link today, but we are looking forward to the significant future investment which is planned as part of the Active Travel Network over the coming years.”

Bet McAllister, Depute Provost of Inverness

The Raigmore Active Travel Link has been funded through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme as part of the Inverness City Active Travel Network, a £10.6m active travel project investing in key walking, wheeling and cycling routes throughout the city.

Maelle Ducreux, Infrastructure Coordinator for Sustrans, said:

“The new Raigmore Active Travel Link will have an immediate positive impact on people walking, wheeling, and cycling between the Campus, Raigmore Estate and Inverness City Centre. These benefits will be felt further when improvements planned for Raigmore Interchange and Millburn Corridor are implemented. The development has also provided the opportunity to reinstate native tree species along the embankment which not only make the route more attractive but will provide valuable shielding from the trunk road”.

Maelle Ducreux, Sustrans

The Active Travel Link took 40 weeks to complete, and was constructed by Pat Munro, a local contractor who won the tender for this work. Mark Smith, Contracts Manager at Pat Munro, said:

“The Raigmore Active Travel Link has been a great project to be involved in and we’re delighted it is now open to the public.

The Raigmore community has been very understanding throughout the construction so we’d like to thank them, once again, for their patience. We hope the local community and others travelling by foot, bike or wheel enjoy using the travel link for many years to come.”

Mark Smith, Pat Munro

Munro Ross, Chair of Raigmore Community Council, said:

“This has been an exemplar project in terms of community engagement and professional work taking place in our community. We look forward to engaging with future projects in the local area, the bar has now been set in terms of engagement and expectations.”

Munro Ross, Raigmore Community Council
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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone Project/Department Filtering

Transformational active travel project soon to begin in Stirling

From left to right: Clackmannshire Council Leader Cllr Ellen Forson with dog Loki, Stirling Council Leader Cllr Scott Farmer, Stirling Council Depute Leader Cllr Chris Kane, Sustrans Portfolio Director for Scotland Karen McGregor, Environment Advisor at the University of Stirling Amy Gove-Kaney. Photo: Stirling Council/Whyler Photos.

Construction of the Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling project is set to begin in March of this year.

A landmark project for the city, the scheme intends to not only improve safety and accessibility for those travelling by foot and wheel, but also seeks to increase economic activity and footfall for local businesses.

The project received £6.8m in funding from Places for Everyone, as well as £2.5m of Scottish Government investment from the City Region Deal and £258k from Stirling Council’s developer contributions allocation.

The city-wide plan also presents Stirling Council and partners with new place-making and tourism opportunities along the new routes, with the infrastructure also laying the foundations for future connections to Clackmannanshire and the wider Forth Valley region.

A detailed look

The project will deliver two main connections throughout the wider city. Illustration: Stirling Council

6.5km of new infrastructure will be created in total, smoothly interlinking with existing but currently disconnected routes across the city in order to connect communities, businesses and higher education institutes throughout Stirling for active travel for the first time.

Route one will provide a safe and accessible route between Stirling Train station and the University of Stirling, taking in iconic landmarks like Old Stirling Bridge and the National Wallace Monument along the way.

Route two will bridge the gaps between Forth Valley College and the City Centre along Albert Place, Dumbarton Road and Raploch Road, under the shadow of Stirling Castle.

The wider picture

The two new routes will pass iconic sites such as Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument. Photo: Stirling Council/Whyler Photos.

In attendance at a launch event for the project alongside local councillors, residents and business owners, Sustrans’ Portfolio Director Karen McGregor said:

“Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling is a truly transformative project that we at Sustrans are excited to be working on as part of our Places for Everyone programme. The project will make walking, wheeling and cycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone, making it easier for people to move between the iconic landmarks that make Stirling the unique place that it is.”

Karen McGregor, Sustrans

Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Farmer said:

“For the first time ever we’ll be able to create seamless sustainable travel options that link the institutions and businesses of our City with their local communities, setting a new standard of local active travel infrastructure.

This investment will make it easier to walk or wheel around Stirling and we hope this improved and increased access will not only meet the growing demands for better active travel infrastructure, but embed a culture that embraces cycling, walking and wheeling in the everyday lives of the people who live, work and visit Stirling.”

Cllr Farmer, Stirling Council Leader

As one of the cornerstone projects of the £90.2million Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling delivers connections which extend far beyond the city itself, whilst also further emboldening the Scottish Government’s plan to tackle climate change.

Clackmannanshire Council Leader, Ellen Forson said:

“I am delighted to see this project start to take shape. It will improve connectivity for our residents by providing a link to routes already established in Clackmannanshire, and is a great example of partnership working through the Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.”

Cllr Forson, Clackmannanshire Council Leader

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“These walking and wheeling corridors will promote more sustainable travel, healthier lifestyles and opportunities for tourism while connecting Stirling’s educational institutions, businesses and communities.

This is helping deliver the bold and ambitious actions we need to help reduce carbon emissions to net zero and encourage sustainable economic growth.”

Kate Forbes, Scottish Government Economy Secretary

Initial construction will start in tandem on Raploch Road East near the King’s Knot, and Airthrey Road near the University.

The project is due to be completed by March 2024, whereupon Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling will serve as a major active travel network for communities across the wider Stirling landscape.

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Engage • Inspire • Learn News News & Opinion

Project Portal new version run-through

Julian Cram, Senior Web Developer and Data Base Administrator of Sustrans Scotland, provides a run-through of the changes made to the Project Portal.

Key updates

  • Completely new styling to improve readability and usability
  • Accessibility of the interface now meets WGAG guidelines wherever possible
  • Greater device support with a more responsive interface
  • Revisions to some pages to make most used areas or features more prominent
  • Updated navigation menu to make moving around the site easier
  • Major performance improvement.

Contact us

If partners have any questions relating to the Project Portal and the changes that have been made, please contact projectportal@sustrans.org.uk

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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone Project/Department Filtering

£13.7 million Stockingfield Bridge celebrates first crossing

The first crossing of many. The new bridge provides a key walking, wheeling and cycling link across North Glasgow. Photo: James Chapelard/Scottish Canals

An iconic design and construction

The completed construction of Stockingfield Bridge marks a significant milestone for the £13.7 million Places for Everyone project.

Once complete, the bridge will connect the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill, and Ruchill in North Glasgow for walking, wheeling and cycling for the first time.

A major boost to health and wellbeing, the new bridge will give local residents stunning views of the city and a convenient access point to the Forth & Clyde Canal in a way not before possible.

The stylish construction of Stockingfield Bridge. Photo: Scottish Canals.

The uniquely forked structure of the bridge not only maximises the number of active travel connections available to users, including improved accessibility to Glasgow west end and city centre, but also serves as a stylish centrepiece to the restored greenspace in the area.

Added public realm improvements, such as seating areas and tree and shrub planting, will help build a sense of community in the area and offer shared space for relaxation and socialisation.

The imminent addition of community artworks along the route will further consolidate the value of the impressive structure.

For those walking, wheeling or cycling further afield, the completion of the bridge also links together the smooth and continuous route stretching the length of the canal from Bowling on the Clyde to Edinburgh in the east via National Cycle Network Route 754.

The inaugural crossing

Left to right: Andrew Thin, Scottish Canals, Catherine Topley is the Chief Executive Officer at Scottish Canals, Patrick Harvie MSP, Karen McGregor, Sustrans, and local resident David Galbraith. Photo: James Chapelard/Scottish Canals

To mark the construction of Stockingfield Bridge, representatives from Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council and Sustrans joined Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie MSP as well as local residents to be the first to cross Stockingfield Bridge.

Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said:

“It’s fantastic to see the Stockingfield Bridge take final shape and reconnect communities across the north of Glasgow. The Scottish Government has provided over £13 million to deliver this project because it unlocks real change in the opportunities that people will have to travel more actively – improving health, wellbeing and protecting our environment.

Patrick Harvie, MSP, Scottish Green Party

The project is being delivered by Scottish Canals with funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone scheme, as well as the Glasgow City Council’s Vacant Derelict Land Fund.

Karen McGregor, Portfolio Director for Sustrans, said:

“The completed construction of Stockingfield Bridge creates invaluable space for walking wheeling and cycling, and represents a significant improvement to the health and wellbeing of the people of North Glasgow.

“Not only does this new connection create a safe and convenient active travel route between Ruchill, Gilshochill, Maryhill and on to the west end and city centre, it opens up a scenic setting for residents and visitors in the area to relax and enjoy what the Forth and Clyde Canal has to offer.”

Karen McGregor, Sustrans

Richard Millar, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Canals, said:

“Stockingfield Bridge will greatly boost active travel alternatives for people travelling about the city, making a walking or wheeling commute to work a viable and enjoyable experience.

For the first time, locals will be able to move effortlessly from these three communities to the city centre and the west end, providing new access to amenities, services, and employment possibilities. The project’s community-led art element will make Stockingfield a completely new destination, attracting new people to visit and raising the reputation of this section of the city to new heights.”

Richard Millar, Scottish Canals

Community artworks to come

Groundwork and community art installations will continue until September, which will mark the end of the project. Photo: James Chapelard/Scottish Canals

People travelling by foot and wheel will soon be able to enjoy everything the project has to offer.

Final works include groundwork initiatives along the towpath, which incorporates a new recreational space and the delivery of 8 community artwork installations, celebrating the proud industrial history of the area.

All of the artworks have a local link along with community participation. They range from sculptures commemorating the area’s industrial background to ceramic mosaics created by the community and metalwork honouring the role of disabled people in North Glasgow.

The project is due to be completed during the 200th anniversary of the Union and Caledonian canals in September, when the bridge will open to the wider public.

The conclusion of this landmark undertaking will mark a new era for Scotland’s inland waterways, one that prioritises active travel, health, and community.

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Case Studies News News & Opinion

£2.1 million award for Greenock town centre active travel redesign

Plans to open up West Blackhall Street in Greenock for walking, wheeling and cycling have taken a significant step forward with the award of £2.1 million of funding from Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme.

Alongside £1.9 million from Inverclyde Council and £580,000 from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), this latest award brings the total project cost to £4.5 million.

The designs include widened footways and a dedicated cycle lane in an effort to make West Blackhall Street a more accessible and inviting space for people to spend their time.

The rejuvenated street will be of particular benefit to local retail and hospitality businesses due to the focus on increasing foot traffic to the area.

Putting people first

At present, the segmented layout and narrow footways of West Blackhall Street make the route hard to access for many residents and visitors. A lack of a cycling infrastructure further compounds this issue.

The current proposals will transform the street to create a welcoming environment by realigning the carriageway, widening the footways, adding a dedicated cycle lane and reallocating parking.

Designs for West Blackhall Street include widened footways, a dedicated cycle lane and additional placemaking initiatives.

Public realm improvements, including added seating and landscaping initiatives will also contribute towards enhancing the space, and will hopefully encourage those visiting to stay for longer.

A new cycle lane running parallel to the footway has been designed to make local trips easier and safer for residents.

A welcome restoration

On the announcement of further funding for the project, Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said:

“The redevelopment of West Blackhall Street has been a long time coming but now, with the support of our funding partners and the council’s contribution, we’re able to press ahead with the work and revitalise this important Greenock Town Centre location for locals, visitors and businesses alike.”

Once finished, West Blackhall Street will be vibrant and accessible street to encourage visitors from near and far to discover what Greenock and Inverclyde has to offer.

Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council

As well as improving the look, feel and experience of the street, the designs of the project aim to reduce emissions in area and improve public health through better air quality.

Emily Gait, Infrastructure Coordinator from Sustrans, said:

“We’re excited to be working with Inverclyde Council and the local community to get this ambitious project underway. By opening up West Blackhall Street for walking, wheeling and cycling, this project puts the health and livelihoods of Greenock residents first, making the streets safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”

Emily Gait, Sustrans

SPT chair of operations, Councillor David Wilson, said:

“Significant funding investment by SPT in recent years has already helped transform parts of the town centre, helping make it a much more welcoming pedestrian, wheeling and cycle friendly environment for local residents, tourists and visitors alike.

These latest plans for West Blackhall Street are another positive step towards improving the town’s streetscape and public realm as well as improving connections with public transport and links for cruise ship visitors to the town centre.”

Cllr David Wilson, SPT

With all the funding necessary now secured, works on the project could begin as soon as summer this year.

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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

Construction begins on major active travel route in Edinburgh

The City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL) will see the east and west of the Capital connected for active travel the first time and will revolutionise the journeys of cyclists and pedestrians for years to come.

Thinking for the future

The CCWEL project will extend from Roseburn to Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End through the construction of a safe and direct cycle route, as well as significant street enhancements for those walking, wheeling and spending time there.

The main route will consist of two-way segregated cycleways from Roseburn to Haymarket, connecting to one-way segregated cycleways on each side of Melville Street. From Melville Street, two-way cycleways will link George Street with Picardy Place via St David Street, Queen Street and York Place. Public realm improvements, including new pedestrian crossings, enhanced pavements and street trees will also be introduced.

Crucially, CCWEL will also connect with several other transformative projects Sustrans is partnering on with City of Edinburgh Council, including the George Street and First New Town project and the Meadows to George Street scheme.

Cause for celebration

To mark the momentous event, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in Roseburn on Tuesday 8th February.

In attendance, Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes and Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie joined Sustrans’ Scotland Portfolio Director, Karen McGregor.

Children from the nearby Roseburn Primary School, local residents in the area and project managers also gathered for the occasion.

We spoke to Patrick Harvie MSP, Cllr Lesley MacInnes, Sustrans’ Karen McGregor and local residents to get their thoughts on the day.

Asked about the project, Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said:

“I’m pleased to see Scottish Government funding enable the construction of the City Centre West to East Link. It’s a vital connection which will help people to walk, wheel and cycle in Edinburgh as the natural choice, leading to better health, less congestion and a better environment.

Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow

Portfolio Director for Sustrans, Karen McGregor said:

“The City Centre West to East Link is a major breakthrough for active travel in Edinburgh. Not only will this deliver safe and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling routes for anyone travelling through the heart of our Scottish capital, it will play an important part in connecting communities in the city’s western and northern suburbs to make their everyday lives healthier and easier”.

Karen McGregor, Sustrans

Like other plans for the city, CCWEL plays a big part in the Council’s City Mobility Plan 2020, which envisions a clean, connected and net zero carbon future by transforming the way people, goods and services travel around the city.

Councillor Lesley MacInnes, Transport and Environment Vice Convener, said:

“The CCWEL project is just one of a range of bold initiatives to transform the way we travel around Edinburgh. We are committed to becoming a net zero city by 2030 and a key element of this is encouraging and supporting clean and sustainable modes of transport through projects like this.”

Councillor Lesley MacInnes, Transport and Environment Convener

Construction on the project is expected to last around 18 months.

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Engage • Inspire • Learn News PfE

Greening our Towns

I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree.

Joyce Kilmer 1888-1918

Places for Everyone encourages the creation of green space as part of walking, wheeling and cycling projects. This article looks at the benefits of including plants and trees in your infrastructure project and how Places for Everyone can supporting greening.

Why Plants?

Wellbeing

For most people, the ability of plants to lift the senses is something to which they can personally testify; but there is also a growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates how much planting can benefit the health of both individuals and communities. Attractive places bring people together and increase social contact between neighbours, and are also safer spaces.

The Journal of Environmental Horticulture has summarised recent academic literature on the social benefits of planting.

Biodiversity

Varied planting can make an important contribution to bio-diversity, generating an ecosystem that includes insects, birds and small mammals. Often this means employing a different sort of maintenance regime from approaches many authorities have got used to, but this may not involve more work. Continuous green corridors can prove especially attractive to wildlife, as well as to human users.

Sustainable drainage

The increasing frequency of flash storms and our large acreage of hard landscaping make flooding a growing risk. Planting can be used to trap water and allow it to infiltrate slowly into the ground, so that very little has to be carried away by the drainage system. Inclusion of a gravel layer below the topsoil can increase the amount of water such a system can cope with, and also filter out obstructions that might block pipes. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) can take the form of planting areas into which run-off can flow (rather than raised beds), or shallow depressions, or swales, which can also be made more attractive and effective with suitable planting.

Urban Design London have published technical guidance on the creation of rain gardens.

Summer Cooling

While urban heat islands, and excess heat generally, are less of a problem in Scotland than many places, most people appreciate a shady tree on a hot day, and the need for some further cooling is likely to increase. Plants also cool the air when they use heat energy to evaporate water from their leaves; and they lose heat much more quickly than solid earth or masonry, so that an area shaded by plants will cool much more quickly at night.

The Forestry Commission issued a report in 2019 on the role of trees and greenspaces in reducing urban air temperatures.

Examples in our projects

Gynack Gardens

Gynack Gardens in Kingussie. A popular destination for village residents, complete with cycle storage and repair facilities.

The Gynack Gardens project in Kingussie is testament to how accessible green placemaking initiatives can be a valuable tool for improving wellbeing and fostering social connections within communities.

Serving as both a direct link to the local school and train station, as well as an attractive events space for arts productions and farmers markets, this polished green space is a popular destination for town residents residents, as well as visitors travelling along the National Cycle Network Route 7 and Speyside Way.

Construction on the gardens was completed in Spring 2021. Sustrans worked closely with project lead Kingussie Community Development Trust, consultants TGP and McGowan Environmental Engineering to deliver a vision of meandering paths and wooden benches enclosing a main stone plaza.

The community completed the works with sheltered bicycle parking and a DIY repair station.

Canal and Claypits

The Claypits Local Nature Reserve in Glasgow. An important home for wildlife and scenic local active travel thoroughfare.

Just a mile north of Glasgow city centre, the Hamiltonhill Claypits is a restored area of natural greenspace which forms part of a key walking, wheeling and cycling route for those in the north of the city.

The site is also Glasgow’s only designated inner-city Local Nature Reserve, managed by volunteers of the Claypits Management Group on behalf of Scottish Canals.

The vision behind the project, delivered by Sustrans in partnership with Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council, was to connect the residents of Panmure Gate and Woodside via a new active travel bridge.

Currently, the communities are split from one another by the Forth and Clyde Canal.

It was also important that the project cultivate and preserve existing habitats in the area, which would jointly serve as a place for locals to relax, exercise and re-connect with nature.

Working with local communities, a scenic network of pathways and newly installed boardwalks were introduced, allowing wildlif to be more accessible. In addition, community planting of trees and shrubs was introduced to more effectively manage the site ecology.

To the immediate south and west, a state of the art electronic footbridge was built by McKenzie Construction. The Garscube Bridge, which serves as a gateway to the Claypits, spans the Forth and Clyde Canal, and allows the safe intermittent passage of boats, cyclists, and pedestrians.

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News News & Opinion

What changes to the Highway Code mean for different road users

What are the changes?

Three main changes have been made to the Highway Code:

  • A new ‘hierarchy of road users’ is to be introduced in order to ensure that those capable of doing the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.
  • Existing rules around pedestrian priority on pavements have been clarified and drivers and cyclists should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road.
  • Guidance has been established for vehicles on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders, ensuring that they have priority at junctions when travelling straight on.

In addition, the ‘Dutch Reach’ is now described in the ‘Waiting and parking’ chapter of The Highway Code for the first time. This vehicle exiting technique recommends using the hand on the opposite side to the door you’re opening, increasing the likelihood of you spotting a cyclist as a natural part of looking over your shoulder.

Who will this benefit?

The new guidance is primarily aimed at improving safety for the most vulnerable road users, particularly young, old and disabled pedestrians.

In order of greatest priority, the new hierarchy of road users are described below:

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/taxis
  6. Vans/minibuses
  7. Large passenger vehicles/heavy goods vehicles

Cyclists, horse riders and motor vehicles should give way to pedestrians at junctions and designated crossings. Furthermore, cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use paths.

Additional provisions have also been made for cyclists. New guidance means that motor vehicles should give cyclists priority at junctions and overtake only when a safe gap is available on the carriageway and when travelling on roundabouts.

The Department for Transport has stated that the ultimate aim of these measures is to foster a more “mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.”

Sustrans welcomes these changes and hopes the additional safety provisions made will reassure and encourage vulnerable road users going forward.

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News & Opinion Spaces for People

Spaces for People research resources

Spaces for People is the Scottish Government’s temporary active travel infrastructure programme, administered by Sustrans Scotland. It was launched in May 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. The programme allocated a total of £33m for active travel infrastructure measures. 34 partners, mostly local authorities, claimed funding through the programme for a range of projects that enabled safe active travel during the pandemic.

It enabled local authorities to install temporary measures to help people on foot, bike or wheels get about safely during the pandemic.

850 measures installed including:

  • 192 Footpath Widening stretching 41.4km
  • 27 Crossing Upgrades
  • 70 Cycle lane (Segregated) stretching 79.4km
  • 14 Cycle lane (Non-segregated) stretching 25.3km
  • 219 Cycle Parking
  • 56 Street Closure stretching 28.9km
  • 24 Street reduction (20mph) zones
  • 30 Speed reduction (Other) stretching 84.1km
  • 168 Vegetation cut back stretching 209km
  • 81 Other measures

Provided below are a range of reports and results from consultations in relation to Spaces for People. Resources are also provided in relation to the broader context of travel during the pandemic. Additional resources are also available on the relevant local authority website.

Consultations

Argyll & Bute – Spaces for People Engagement Surveys

Argyll & Bute Council asked for the views of the local community on Spaces for People proposals in seven town centres. The survey was open from Thursday 16 July to Sunday 26 July 2020. Reports are available for each of the individual towns included in the survey.

Argyll & Bute – Spaces for People Engagement Surveys

Scottish Borders CitizenSpace Survey responses

During June and July 2020 the public was asked to provide specific suggestions for temporary local schemes which would make it safer for people to walk or cycle for essential trips and exercise during COVID-19. An overview of all comments submitted is available through the below link.

Scottish Borders Citizen Space Survey responses

Commonplace

Visitors to the Commonplace website were able to create their own comments at a specific location, or agree with existing comments by clicking on the thumbs up button. For each comment, at each location, respondents choose from a multiple-choice list of issue(s) relating to social distancing, and a list of potential ways to improve this. They could also add extra information about issues, improvements or suggestions in the ‘other’ section. The platform was open for multiple council areas, and comments are available to review.

A report is also available on the Aberdeen responses. It includes three sections that explore the headline results of the Commonplace consultation for Aberdeen. The first section provides an overview of the whole consultation area. The second section provides a summary of results from three specific areas. The final section summarises who responded to the survey.

Commonplace Platform

Aberdeen City Council – Commonplace Report

East Lothian – Dunbar public engagement results

East Lothian Council conducted a survey to gain feedback on the proposed Spaces for People measures in Dunbar. The local community provided feedback online from the 30th November 2020 to 6th December 2020. This report presents the results and provides an insight into the community’s attitude to different interventions proposed in the local area.

East Lothian – Dunbar public engagement results

Attitudes

Edinburgh City Council

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) undertook a six-week public consultation entitled Retaining ‘Spaces for People’ Measures from the 22nd February until 5th April 2021. The survey is intended to give the Council a better understanding of how people feel about retaining the different spaces for people projects that have temporarily been introduced in Edinburgh, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stantec was appointed to undertake the analysis of the open-ended questions in the public consultation survey. They had surveys on our online consultation hub aimed at residents, businesses and stakeholders. In addition to the consultation, Edinburgh City Council also conducted Market Research. The online questionnaire focused on;

  • how much people supported or opposed keeping the measures from strongly approve to strongly disapprove
  • what people felt were the main benefits or disadvantages of keeping the measures
  • which measures people would especially like to keep or remove.
  • what forms of transport they had used on streets with measures in place
  • how they had travelled around Edinburgh before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Spaces for People Consultation Analysis Open-Ended Questions Reporting

Summary of Business Responses to consultation on possible retention of Spaces for People (SfP) measures: Consultation Hub

Summary of stakeholder and community council responses to consultation on possible retention of Spaces for People measures

Response to individual and business surveys: headline data

City of Edinburgh Council Spaces for People Market Research

Disability Equality Scotland

Each week Disability Equality Scotland send out a poll question to their members on a topical issue. For the week beginning 14 August 2020, they asked two questions about the Spaces for People programme. The questions related to awareness of the measures and any impact on getting around.

Disability Equality Scotland

TACTRAN

TACTRAN is the statutory Regional Transport Partnership covering Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. TACTRAN commissioned an attitudinal and behavioural survey to measure the effectiveness of the Spaces for People (SfP) programme in the TACTRAN region. It comprised of ten waves between August 2020 and April 2021. The survey provides in insight to:

  • The frequency participants travelled and mode used for nine different purposes both in the last seven days and hypothetically, if no COVID-19 restrictions were in place. It also included questions about expected future travel over the next month.
  • Participants’ attitude towards different modes of transport. If a respondent reported a negative feeling for a transport mode, they were asked to provide a reason for this opinion. Participants were also asked about their concerns in relation to people spreading the virus while using public or active travel respectively.
  • Participants’ were asked about their awareness of different Spaces for People measures implemented across the four local authority areas. If participants were aware of the measure, they were asked how positively or negatively they felt towards the measure, and the reason for this opinion.
  • Participants also shared information on the time spent walking or cycling for different purposes, such as leisure or commuting and how this had changed since March 2020.

TACTRAN Spaces for People Attitudinal Surveys Wave 10 Report

Traffic Data

Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh City Council has presented data on cycle volume at locations that have Spaces for People measures.

Supporting Information for report on potential retention of Spaces for People measures: June 2021 Cycle counter data from Counters on Spaces for People routes

Scottish Borders Council Traffic Speed and Volume Dashboard

The Scottish Borders Council have provided a public dashboard presenting the outcome of speed surveys in multiple sites across the region. A comparison between three surveys is available, providing average speed and 85th percentile. The initial survey occurred before Spaces for People measures were introduced. The second and third surveys evaluate the Spaces for People measure of a 20mph speed limit.

Scottish Borders Council Traffic Speed and Volume Dashboard

Project Review

Glasgow City Council – Spaces for People Project Review & Assessment Report

Glasgow City Council has introduced a number of Spaces for People temporary measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; including widened footways, pop-up cycle lanes and pedestrianisation zones using road space, giving priority to those walking, cycling, and wheeling. This report provides an overview of these measures, documents the analysis and evaluation of relevant data, sets out a process to enable an assessment of the individual measures and presents recommendations for either the removal or retention. Glasgow City Council commissioned Sweco to carry out this report.

Glasgow City Council – Spaces for People Project Review & Assessment Report

Travel during the Pandemic

NESTRANS

Nestrans have commissioned Systra to conduct monthly online travel behaviour and attitude surveys between July 2020 and March 2022. The reports provide insight as to how people in the North East of Scotland are traveling and how they expect to travel in the future, as well as finding out their current issues and concerns.

NESTRANS

Public Health Scotland

The report considers how COVID-19 is affecting the use of transport systems, the implications for population health and wellbeing and support for policy responses during the transition through and beyond COVID-19. While the report does not specifically review Spaces for People measures, it does provide it does give an understanding of transport use and attitudes during the pandemic, with particular focus on health and health inequalities. Both the briefing and full report is available below.

Transport use, health and health inequalities: The impact of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – Briefing

Transport use, health and health inequalities: The impact of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 A rapid review of evidence in support of a health inequalities impact assessment

Transport Scotland

Transport Scotland is monitoring trends and attitudes to transport during the COVID-19 outbreak. Regular reports provides a snapshot of travel across main modes when compared to a pre-pandemic baseline. 

Transport Scotland also carried out a series of telephone surveys with a representative sample of over 16s across Scotland. The survey is aimed at gaining an understanding of the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting current travel behaviour and intentions for future travel in Scotland. As of October 2021, 20 waves of the survey have been undertaken, with the highlights of the report available below. The report provides an insight into:

  • The frequency participants travelled and mode used for ten different purposes. These questions were asked in the context of the last seven days and prior to the first lockdown.
  • Participants were asked about their concerns in relation to people spreading COVID-19 while using public or active travel respectively.
  • Participants were asked about their future expected travel behaviour
  • Participants were asked about their attitude to public transport, their compliance with travel guidance and the vaccination.

COVID-19 Transport Trend Data

COVID-19 Public Attitudes Survey Data