News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

How can we improve our public spaces for Scotland’s teenagers? 

Public spaces, such as streets, town squares and parks, are a key feature in teenagers’ everyday lives. 

It’s somewhere they can socialise, foster a sense of identity and self-value, and connect with their community.   

But despite this they are often overlooked in conversations about the design of our villages, towns and cities. 

Earlier this year, A Place in Childhood (APiC) published a report – commissioned by Sustrans Scotland – which explores how to effectively involve teenagers in placemaking projects. 

The research also explored how we can meet the needs of young people through infrastructure and behaviour change work more widely.  

But what does this mean in practice? And how are these learnings going to help us create healthier, happier, and more representative neighbourhoods across Scotland?  

What is the Teenagers and Public Space Report? 

APiC engage young Scots in projects that seek to create more inclusive policies, services and environments. 

146 people aged 12-18, across communities in Huntly (Aberdeenshire), Denny (Falkirk), and North Edinburgh were involved with the study. 

Those involved took researchers on tours of the places they lived and explained what they liked as well as what could be improved in the area.  

These views formed the basis of the Teenagers and Public Space Report. 

Group of young women sitting in busy public space in Glasgow city centre.
A group of young people using busy public space in Glasgow city centre. Credit: Sustrans, 2023.

What did the research set out to explore? 

We know a lot about what teenagers need from public space: shelter from poor weather, places to socialise and study and opportunities for physical activity. 

In order to effectively inform Sustrans’ infrastructure delivery work, however, some issues required further investigation. 

The APiC research aimed to discover: 

  1. What the needs of teenagers within specific communities in Scotland are, and how Sustrans infrastructure and placemaking activities can serve them. 
  1. What the difference is in terms of need between teenagers of differing UK protected characteristics – specifically, the age and gender differences. 
  1. What the most appropriate methods of engagement are with teenagers on infrastructure and placemaking projects. 
  1. How practitioners can mediate and balance potential conflicts within a community between the needs of teenagers and other groups. 
Two girls crossing a segregated cycle lane on newly upgraded public space in Broughty Ferry.
Teenagers using a crossing on a segregated cycle route in Broughty Ferry. Credit: Sustrans, 2023.

What were the key findings? 

The research found that anti-social behaviour (ASB) is the biggest problem influencing how teenagers interact with public space. 

The young people we spoke to explained that despite it being a minority who are responsible for such behaviour, people their age are often all stereotyped in the same way. 

They were keen to point out that it is in fact teenagers themselves that are most affected by ASB – both from their peers and adults. 

APiC also recommended that extra attention needs to be paid to the needs of girls, ethnic minorities, disabled young people and those with other protected characteristics.  

For example, teenage girls don’t feel safe going out in some communities, unless they are in groups, and will sometimes travel further from home just to spend time with their friends.  

Finally, the study emphasised the importance of access to destinations such as natural spaces, affordable sports and leisure facilities, clubs and places to play. 

However, it also showed that litter and vandalism in these areas upsets teenagers – even those who are responsible for it. 

There is a feeling among these young people that if no one else is taking care of a place, why should they? 

Young person skateboarding in public space - Papdale Park, Orkney.
Teenage boy skateboards in Orkney’s newest public space – Papdale Park, Kirkwall. Credit: Sustrans, 2023.

What can we learn from this?  

Active travel infrastructure and placemaking projects need to better engage and support teenagers.  

The young people we spoke to were clear – meaningfully involving people their age in the design of public spaces and strategies for addressing ASB will help alleviate all of these issues. 

By giving teenagers a seat at the table we will not only improve decision-making, but also serve to ease intergenerational tension. 

This will, in turn, boost awareness of what it’s like to be a young person today. 

Taking action

Listening and working in partnership to deliver on the needs and aspirations of often overlooked groups, like the young people featured in this research, can help create spaces which work for everyone.  

This is essential if we want to successfully deliver inclusive and positive change in our public spaces.   

Since the publication of the report, Sustrans have continued to work with APiC to support this important work across Scotland.  

For example, the City of Edinburgh Council recently commissioned APiC to consult students at schools in Portobello and Craigmillar to find out their priorities for and barriers to using public space.  

This will feed into wider Places for Everyone projects being delivered in these areas, with plans to keep the pupils involved as proposals develop. 

Girl jogging on new public space created by Stockingfield Bridge in Glasgow.
Young jogger runs across Stockingfield Bridge – a project which has created a new public greenspace in Glasgow. Credit: Sustrans, 2023.

Several information sessions and workshops have been held this year involving Sustrans’ engagement teams and partners, creating a platform to discuss the research and share examples of best practice.   

A framework for including children and young people in active travel infrastructure projects is also being created.  

This is due to be published and shared in spring 2024.   

A research finalist

In November 2023, the Teenagers and Public Space Report was nominated as a finalist in the research category of the Thorntons Education Trust Inspiring Future Generations Awards.

News News & Opinion

Active travel increases after path upgrades to Wishawhill Wood

The Wishawhill Wood path links the suburb of Craigneuk in North Lanarkshire with Wishaw town centre via a high-quality active travel route.

Previously, the only option for walking, wheeling and cycling away from the busy road, and without the use of an inaccessible footbridge over the railway, was a muddy and overgrown path.

Construction on the new route was completed in 2020.

It has since provided a safe and easy way for people of all abilities to travel between Craigneuk and Wishaw, as well as improving access to the local woodland and Wishawhill Wood Pump Track.

The project was led by Green Action Trust (GAT) and part-funded by the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme. Match funding was provided by North Lanarkshire Council who have also taken on maintenance responsibility for the route.

Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit (RMU) evaluated the impact of the project in 2022 by counting and surveying people using the path, as well as interviewing local people and stakeholders.

The Wishawhill Wood path links the suburb of Craigneuk in North Lanarkshire with Wishaw town centre via a high-quality active travel route. Credit: Green Action Trust.

What were the findings?

RMU analysis found that the path has contributed to substantially more trips being taken through Wishawhill Wood – particularly by young and older people.

Before the path upgrade, an estimated 16,000 trips were made during 2019 by people passing through or visiting the pump track. After the upgrade, an estimated 41,000 trips were taken during 2022 – about two and a half times as many.

The path is mainly used for recreation and has helped local residents increase their regular physical activity.

In 2022, 40% of survey respondents said they made a journey along the route daily, compared with 15% in 2019.

The path upgrade has also helped people access a much wider range of local services than before.

Many people using the route strongly agreed that it is easily accessible, enhances the area and meets the needs of the community.

85% of respondents said they were walking or cycling because the path was the most convenient route to get to their destination, up from 18% in 2019.

Numbers of people strongly agreeing that the path is well maintained, feels safe and is well lit have also increased, but are still relatively low.

RMU analysis found that the path has contributed to substantially more trips being taken through Wishawhill Wood.

A community asset

Reflecting on the impact upgrading the path has had on the local community, interviewees were positive.

One person told us:

“It’s a great green transport link, in terms of from the centre of Wishaw, right the way down through…it certainly has opened the area up.”

Local resident, Wishaw

Dan Scott, the Managing Director at Socialtrack, a local social enterprise that encourages people to cycle, scoot, and skateboard, explained how the upgraded path had encouraged pump track users to cycle rather than drive.

“Six lads travelled from another part of Wishaw, which was two miles away from the pump track. The first time they came, six lads came in four cars and then six lads came in three cars, and then eventually six lads came themselves on their own bikes.”

Dan Scott, Managing Director, Socialtrack

Communicating the results

By presenting the findings of the study as a StoryMap, which uses a combination of interactive maps, graphs, voice recordings from local people and “before and after” photos, users can simply and interactively learn more about the project.

The webpage details the story of the path, how it was developed, how it connects people and place, and its impact within the local community.

Alan Boyd, Evaluation Officer in Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit, said:

“We are pleased to share our findings which detail the increase in walking, wheeling and cycling as a result of the path upgrade in Wishawhill Wood.”

“The new path has created a safer and more accessible route for people of all abilities travelling between Craigneuk and Wishaw.”

“We have uploaded our analysis onto a StoryMap for those who would like to find out more about the project. The StoryMap is flexible, so users can zoom in and out of the maps, easily skip to whatever research they find most interesting, and listen to local people discuss the changes that they have seen since the path opened.”

Alan Boyd, Evaluation Officer, Sustrans
The upgraded path had encouraged people to cycle rather than drive to the local pump track. Credit: Holly Musgrove/Sustrans, 2022.

Mike Batley, Development Officer at Green Action Trust, added:

“The Wishawhill Wood project has been a great opportunity for the Green Action Trust and partners to make a real difference to people’s quality of life through access to greenspace and active travel.”

“Anecdotally the path has clearly had a positive effect, however this new piece of evaluation has put firm data behind its impact, which is very encouraging for future projects.”

“The StoryMap brings the work to life in an easily understood and engaging way, so I’m delighted to see the results in this format.”

Mike Batley, Development Officer, Green Action Trust

Want to find out more?

Experience the StoryMap or contact

More information about StoryMaps

News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

Analysis shows increase in active travel after project delivery

The 2020/21 evaluation report published today provides evidence on the key impacts of the Places for Everyone grant fund, and demonstrates the contributions of the programme to the outcomes set out in Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Framework.

The report also highlights how the programme performed during the pandemic and the baseline monitoring currently being undertaken for projects in the design stage.

The Places for Everyone programme is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans.

The programme is open to a range of organisations in Scotland – including local authorities and community groups – that enables the creation of active travel infrastructure.

In addition to funding, the programme also provides advice and support to partners on establishing safe, attractive, healthier places in our urban and rural areas.

There are currently around 250 projects in place or in development as part of the Places for Everyone programme.

Impact of the programme

The report aggregated data from projects across the lifespan of the Places for Everyone programme up to and including the 2020/21 funding year. This includes Sustrans Scotland’s previous Community Links and Community Links Plus grant funds.

One of the key findings is that walking, wheeling, and cycling numbers increased after the completion of infrastructure projects.  

Results from an analysis of 30 projects showed a 54% average estimated rise in active travel trips after initial delivery.

Further study showed that the increase in active travel was sustained one year after delivery, with 24 projects averaging a 37% increase in trips.

The 2020/21 evaluation report provides evidence on the key impacts of the Places for Everyone grant fund and demonstrates the contributions of the programme to the outcomes set out in Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Framework.

The monitoring also suggests that the programme led to an improvement in the perception of safety among both pedestrians and cyclists.

This was particularly evident among groups who traditionally regard safety as a barrier to active travel, including women, the elderly and disabled people.

Local people’s perceptions of community involvement in planned Places for Everyone projects were equally encouraging.

In Glasgow, a survey of 984 local residents found that 71% felt the Connecting Woodside project would either greatly or slightly improve the sense of community in their area.

Monitoring and evaluation during the pandemic

Results show that Places for Everyone projects were particularly beneficial to communities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme helped mitigate against some of the impacts at local level by providing safe active travel options for key workers and others.

The projects saw increases in walking, wheeling and cycling during a period of unparalleled societal change.

In Edinburgh, for example, the Innocent Railway path project saw a 344% growth in cycling between 2014 and during the pandemic in 2020.

The report aggregated data from projects across the lifespan of the Places for Everyone programme up to and including the 2020/21 funding year.

Looking ahead

The Places for Everyone programme is committed to enabling more people in Scotland to walk, wheel and cycle for their everyday journeys.

The Research and Monitoring Unit are continuing to monitor a sample of projects currently at design stage, and will update their analysis with projects from 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Planned work includes upgrading active travel routes, improvements to public spaces in our towns and cities, connecting communities and key hubs and addressing local safety issues.

This highlights the variety in the programme’s work, with projects ranging from rural to urban and village to city.

It also evidences Places for Everyone’s contributions to wider development projects such as local masterplans and flood defence schemes.

One of the key findings is that walking, wheeling, and cycling numbers increased after the completion of infrastructure projects.  

Nigel Donnell from Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit, said:

“We’re really pleased to be able to share this evaluation report. It highlights that the Places for Everyone programme is helping people throughout Scotland to walk, wheel and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.

We are really proud of everything it has achieved so far, and with around 250 projects in place or in development the fund will continue to play an important role in creating safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive communities.

We’d like to thank Transport Scotland for providing the funding to facilitate the Places for Everyone fund, and our delivery partners whose hard work has ensured the success of the programme”.

The full report is available on request, if you would like to find out more contact


News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

Feb 2023 – Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) awards

The most recent funding awards for Places for Everyone projects at Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) have now been announced.

Applications for projects at Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) were presented to The Decision Making Panel in December 2022, with awards for successful projects being made in February 2023.

See list of awards.

The next set of funding awards will be announced for project applications at Construction (Stages 5-7) in spring 2023.

The most recent funding awards for Places for Everyone projects at Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) have now been announced. Credit: John Linton, 2019.

What has been awarded?

Details about successful projects progressing to the Developed and Technical Design stages can be found below.

Ashgrove Connects: £1,815,000

Proposals include reducing the speed of traffic, creating more crossings, simplifying junctions, providing separate areas for active travel, and co-designing community spaces which will increase road user safety.

Bathgate Water Improvement Project: £130,000

By taking a holistic approach to improving the watercourse that runs through the Wester Inch area of Bathgate, this project will provide a path network that will encourage active travel and create an environment that supports wildlife.

The Causey Project Phase 2: £192,362

Phase 2of thiscommunity led project will transform the quality of the area around West Crosscauseway to re-establish it as an important route for everyday active travel and improve the sense of place for local people. 

Cessnock-Ibrox Village Strip – Liveable Neighbourhoods: £528,826

This project will see the addition of controlled pedestrian crossings, wider and continuous footways, enhanced lighting, placemaking and new greenspaces. A new protected cycleway along Paisley Road West will also be created.  

City-wide Public Bike Parking: £14,480

This project will see public bike parking infrastructure installed and increased across the City of Edinburgh to encourage more people to cycle for their everyday journeys.

Civic Street, establishing an active travel intersection for the canal: £35,000

This project will improve the walking, wheeling, and cycling routes that converge at Civic Street, connecting the city centre with communities in north Glasgow.  

Dalbeattie Active Travel Links Phase 2: £73,012

The project seeks to provide new cycling infrastructure, including a new footbridge, in Dalbeattie. This will improve connectivity to Dalbeattie Learning Campus, Dalbeattie Town Centre and Craignair Health Centre, as well as promoting active travel in the area.

The Dummy Railway: £233,978

The focus of this project is to create safer, more accessible routes for local people by upgrading the footpaths and landscaping in the area. This will increase play provision, encourage biodiversity and promote walking, wheeling, and cycling.

Flourishing Molendinar: £136,504

The Flourishing Molendinar active travel routes will extend high quality walking, wheeling, and cycling connections into the northeast of Glasgow and along the A80.

Follow On From Connecting West End community to Riverside & the Waterfront: £442,655

Replacing an existing footbridge over the East Coast railway which is at the end of its serviceable lifespan is the focus of this project. The current bridge is not suitable for users with mobility issues and anyone wheeling or cycling due to its stepped access.

Greater Govan City Network: £2,295,000

Designs for the Greater Govan area in Glasgow include the introduction of a high-quality cycling network, as well as enhanced pedestrian infrastructure and public realm improvements.

3 figures walking along the Loch Indaal Way.
Developed and Technical Design builds on early proposals from Concept (Stages 1-2) to help establish project designs which are shaped by local communities and key stakeholders that are construction ready. Credit: Sustrans, 2021.

Introduction of green infrastructure and an active travel route linking Eastern Springburn: £89,500

The aim of this project is to create a new active travel route linking communities to the east and west of the Red Road Transitional Regeneration Area (TRA). The new route will provide improvements to active walking, wheeling and cycling movement, whilst creating a new link between neighbourhoods and community facilities.

Leith Connections Phase 3: £653,000

Phase 3 will deliver pedestrian improvements, a segregated cycle track with protected junctions and improved placemaking along Leith’s west-east corridor.

Musselburgh Active Toun Routes 1 and 5 local Stage 3 & 4 Design: £371,000

Musselburgh Active Toun (MAT) is reimagining Musselburgh with sustainability, resilience and local communities at its heart. The project comprises six strategic active travel routes and a series of local connectors. This phase seeks to take forward two strategic routes and key local paths.

Musselburgh Active Toun Route 3 Stage 3 & 4 Design: £381,000

This phase is looking to take progress Route 3 – a strategic coastal route.

Possilpark Liveable Neighbourhood, Saracen Street: £429,638

This element of the Possilpark Liveable Neighbourhood will focus on the transformation of Saracen Street. It will improve the public realm and create new green infrastructure including protected cycle lanes as part of the city network.

Powderhall phase 2 Former Waste Transfer Station – Powderhall Junction: £46,540

This project seeks to enhance Powderhall Junction for people walking, wheeling, and cycling. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to move around the local area without the need for motorised transport.

Queensferry – walking, wheeling and cycling improvements: £428,000

Designs for significant improvements to active travel infrastructure in the south of Queensferry will connect communities with the town centre.

Stoneyburn Links – Bents to A706: £123,289

Stoneyburn Links will offer those dependent on car use a sustainable alternative for commuting in and out of the village by removing barriers and improving accessibility.

Union Street Transformation: £301,878

A community led co-design process aims to create a safer, more attractive, healthier and inclusive, climate resilient place enjoyed equitably by the people who live on, work in and visit the street.

Walk, Wheel, Cycle Burdiehouse: £348,000

Walk, Wheel, Cycle Burdiehousewill provide active travel infrastructure on key roads linking to housing developments in the area. Measures will include widened footpaths, segregated cycle tracks and newly signalised crossings.

Protected junctions introduced as part of the South City Way Places for Everyone project in Glasgow.
Places for Everyone provides 100% of the funding for all designs and other pre-construction activity. Credit: John Linton, 2021.

What does this mean?

Backed by the Scottish Government, Places for Everyone aims to create safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive places by increasing and diversifying the number of trips made by walking, wheeling, and cycling for everyday journeys.

Developed and Technical Design builds on early proposals from Concept (Stages 1-2) to help establish project designs which are shaped by local communities and key stakeholders that are construction ready.

Places for Everyone provides 100% of the funding for all designs and other pre-construction activity.

Construction (Stages 5-7) completes the Places for Everyone process by physically delivering the infrastructure on the ground.

Places for Everyone provides 70% of the funding for construction.

More information on Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Plan of Work stages can be found here.

Decision Making Panels comprise of both senior members of the Sustrans infrastructure delivery teams as well as key external representatives.

More information on Decision Making Panels can be accessed here.

Case Studies Homepage Featured News Places for Everyone

Community-designed park opens on Orkney

Arcadia Park is a new community-designed green space and active travel network in Kirkwall, Orkney.

Built on what was previously a section of underused land adjacent to Balfour Hospital, the project sought to transform the area into a place where local residents can take time out and relax.

The new park provides somewhere that can be used for walking, wheeling, cycling, and spending time outdoors.

The project officially opened on the 24th September 2022.

A place to unwind

The Arcadia Park project has created a peaceful place where local people can exercise, switch off and connect with the natural environment in Orkney’s largest town.

The 33,000 square metre site is now home to ponds, wildflower meadows, woodland and sculpture.

These features are all connected by a network of accessible active travel routes, enabling people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the space.

The day-to-day management of the park is undertaken by a group of volunteers from Arcadia Community Park Group.

Arcadia Park is a new community-designed green space and active travel network in Kirkwall. Credit: Sustrans 2022.

Inspiration behind the project

The project stemmed from the aspirations of a local community group to transform an area of open space opposite the new Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall. 

Orkney Alcohol Counselling and Advisory Service (OACAS) took up a maintenance agreement with Orkney Islands Council for the site in 2017.

OACAS aimed to use the space to rehabilitate young offenders by providing opportunities to develop horticultural skills in partnership with Orkney College UHI.

In 2018, Orkney Island Council founded the Your Kirkwall initiative – an engagement project to create a community led vision for the future of the town. 

OACAS contributed their ideas for the plot, emphasising the potential to connect the new hospital with residential areas and future development land located nearby via an inclusive, all-abilities path.  

Arcadia Park has been built on what was previously a section of underused land adjacent to Balfour Hospital. Credit: Sustrans 2022.

Overcoming challenges

In 2020 the project faced a significant challenge when OACAS went into liquidation. 

This caused some uncertainty around the future of Arcadia Park.

However, those involved were determined to see it succeed.

The key contact from OACAS and the landscape architect who carried out the design work set up the Arcadia Community Park Group later that year. 

The group continues to go from strength to strength and today oversees the day-to-day management of the park.

ArtRoots involvement

The Places for Everyone funded developments concluded in early 2021.

In April that year, Arcadia Community Park Group applied for funding for an ArtRoots project to further enhance the space.

The application was for a new sculpture and wildflower planting to complement the trees and grassy areas.

The design was created based on ideas submitted from children at the local schools – a meteorite which lands in the park and becomes home to a family of Orcadian Voles.

A local storyteller then created a story to go with the sculpture.

The 33,000 square metre site is now home to ponds, wildflower meadows, woodland and sculpture. Credit: Sustrans 2022.

Landscaping took place to create a crater with the meteor at its centre.

Paths throughout the park lead to the sculpture, making it a focal point of the site.

An end result to be proud of

Arcadia Park officially opened in September 2022 at a launch event attended by over 100 people including local residents, partners and Sustrans representatives. 

At the launch, local residents reflected on the difference Arcadia Park has made to the community.

“The park has opened up an area that was previously just a boggy scrub.”

“It has provided a quiet place to relax, and somewhere that children can walk and learn to ride their bikes away from the busy roads”.

“The new route is now a popular way to travel between the residential areas and the town centre.”

Local resident, Kirkwall

Michael Harvey, Senior Project Officer at Sustrans, reflected the positivity about the completed project, stating:

“We are so excited to see the completion of the Arcadia Park project, and to hear about the difference it has already made to the local community we have worked closely with.”

“These works have delivered a quiet space where everybody living in the area can unwind outdoors, as well as safely travelling in and around Kirkwall.”

“Routes such as this are such an important step into empowering more people to walk, wheel, and cycle.”

Michael Harvey, Senior Project Officer, Sustrans

Arcadia Community Park Group is now applying for additional funding to provide wooden signs and notice boards.

They are also looking to develop a plant nursery to give local students the opportunity to develop their horticultural skills.

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

Community Engagement Key to Flourishing Molendinar Success 

Celebrations were held on Langdale Street in the North East of Glasgow last month, as early designs to improve walking, wheeling, and cycling in the local area were completed. 

On the 22nd and 23rd September residents came together to learn about the ambitions of the Flourishing Molendinar project. 

Play days were held on the section of the street that St. Paul’s Youth Forum – the group leading the project – wants to close to through traffic in order to promote active, sustainable travel and create a community space.

It was a fantastic event with many families coming down to enjoy the space. Local children had their bikes fixed, held races on the closed road and were able to learn more about the vision of the project. 

Inspiration behind the project

For many years, Langdale Street and the surrounding areas have experienced high levels of traffic and poor air quality. 

As Jean McClean from Blackhill Community Council, explained: “This wee community is stuck right in the middle of two motorways, and this is a thorough-through for kids from Blackhill to get up to St Philomena’s. It’s quite dangerous with cars and big trucks flying up and down this area.”

Community engagement found that barriers to active travel in this part of Glasgow were the speed and volume of traffic, lack of safe routes and the condition of the paths.  

Celebrations held on Langdale Street, Glasgow as designs to improve walking, wheeling, and cycling in the area were completed. Credit: Sustrans, 2022.

What is Flourishing Molendinar? 

Flourishing Molendinar aims to create a network of segregated active travel routes and quiet streets which are accessible and safe, making it easier and more enjoyable for local people to walk, wheel, and cycle. 

“One of the things in the community that was often fed back to us was about transport poverty.  

We’re only three miles away from the city centre, but there’s a massive disconnect in terms of public transport – in getting to and from the city centre.  

“It’s [the project] about ensuring people in the North East of Glasgow can enjoy the same opportunities as their peers across the city”

Ben Raw, St Paul’s Community Group

As part of the proposed work, Langdale Street will be transformed into a quiet route where walking, wheeling, and cycling are prioritised, whilst still maintaining access for residents, blue badge holders and emergency service vehicles.

Pupils of St. Philomena’s Primary School will be one of the main beneficiaries of the project which will create safer routes for travelling to and from school. 

Flourishing Molendinar will eventually lead to the development of Langdale Place – a proposed community space featuring enhanced greenspace, benches and places for people to meet and socialise. 

Local children will be one of the main beneficiaries of the project which will create safer routes for travelling to and from school. Credit: Sustrans, 2022.

Driven by and for the local community

Flourishing Molendinar has, up to this point, been led by St. Paul’s Youth Forum and their On Bikes project. Funding was provided by Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, with support from Glasgow City Council and designers Urban Movement.

To make sure that the developments fit the needs and wants of local people, members of the community have fed in throughout the design process.  

Since the project started a number of exciting consultation and engagement methods were used to ensure that different voices were heard.  

Activities included tasking school children with creating designs for Langdale Place during Minecraft workshops. Most recently, this approach to engaging young people in street design won the award for ‘Most Innovative Transport Project of the Year’ at the Scottish Transport Awards.

Innovative consultation and engagement methods were used to ensure different voices from the community fed into the design process. Credit: Sustrans, 2022.

A session with local artists was also held during St Paul’s weekly community evening meal. Attendees were shown a museum box containing old toys, games and photographs which was used to inspire conversations on how streets were used in the past. 

Other methods of communication included social media campaigns, logo drawing and badge making sessions, meetings with a local steering group, street stalls and led cycle rides that included additional learning regarding climate change, air pollution, urban design and the Flourishing Molendinar project. 

This cross-community engagement has been very successful and culminated with the Langdale Street closure, where people came together to celebrate the project.  

“It’s great for me to see my community happy. My community is going to benefit out of this closure and this project”

Jean McClean, Blackhill Community Council

What’s next?

Flourishing Molendinar is now moving to the next stage of the development and is being handed over to Glasgow City Council who are going to drive it forwards.

“Flourishing Molendinar shows what can be achieved when communities are engaged with redevelopment projects.

The combination of new public spaces, improved pedestrian crossings, new segregated cycle lanes and redesigned quiet streets is going to transform this area of Glasgow.

It is going to connect people together, and ensure that everyone in the local community, regardless of age or ability, can safely walk, wheel or cycle for everyday journeys”.

Michael Melton, Grant Manager at Sustrans
Case Studies Homepage Featured News News & Opinion Places for Everyone Project/Department Filtering

Trial of Protected Junctions finds cycling numbers double along South City Way

The Glasgow South City Way project is delivering a high-quality active travel corridor from the heart of the South Side through to Glasgow City Centre.

The project is part of Glasgow’s ambition to become a cycle friendly city – linking routes and destinations by “quiet ways” that enable anyone regardless of ability to travel by bike.

As the project developed, two protected junctions (road junctions that separate people travelling on foot, by cycle, and in vehicles) were trialled at a couple of locations along Victoria Road.

They were the first protected junctions ever trialled in Scotland!

What were the outcomes of the trials?

Protected junctions introduced on Victoria Road as part of the South City Way Places for Everyone project in Glasgow. Credit: John Linton, 2021.

During the trial period Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit (RMU) found a significant increase in cycle traffic.

Between March 2019 and September 2021, the total cycle traffic through the junctions had almost doubled.

Pedestrian traffic changed much less in the same period, increasing slightly at one junction and decreasing at the other.

Video footage from the same period showed that 94% of cyclists followed the segregated cycleway through the protected junctions as intended.

Similar footage revealed that pedestrian behaviour had also changed between the pre and post-intervention monitoring.

At the protected junctions, fewer people were crossing on the diagonal, opting instead to cross each arm of the junction separately. Crossing when the red figure shows had increased suggesting that people felt safe enough to cross when traffic was still flowing through the junction.

How have perceptions of safety changed?

As part of the RMU study, 218 interviews were carried out with people who walk and cycle to find out how the introduction of the junctions had changed safety perceptions.

The responses were conclusive, with all the cyclists and over two thirds of the people walking feeling either safe or very safe when using them.

There were, however, also learnings to be taken.

Some people reported confusion with the crossing signs and the position of signals at the new junction layout.

A few survey responses raised concerns for the experience of vulnerable groups using the protected junctions, including the light controls not having sound for people with sight impairment, and trip hazards due to the path and road being at different heights.

A small number of those interviewed also highlighted cyclists not using bells, not observing red lights and travelling in the wrong direction.

The introduction of the protected junctions has allowed more people to walk, wheel and cycle safely in the South Side. Credit: John Linton, 2021.

Looking forwards

While initial findings from the study are very encouraging, the team noted that further work is required to support the roll out of these protected junctions.

“We are pleased by our initial findings after the introduction of the protected junctions on the Victoria Road section of the South City Way.

Those we spoke to reported an increased sense of safety when using the junctions, and the growth of cycle traffic volume since their installation shows they will be an important tool to encouraging more people to use active travel for everyday journeys.

However, we know that there is a lot more work to be done.

Future monitoring will capture more data on the direction of cyclists travelling along the cycleway, and there will be a focus on the experiences of vulnerable groups using the intervention to ensure that everyone is able to safely walk, wheel and cycle in Glasgow”.

Ben Farrington, RMU Evaluation Officer at Sustrans
Engineering team

Paul Cronin, BEng(Hons) IEng FIHE CMILT

Paul Cronin - Sustrans Principal Engineer
Paul Cronin, Sustrans Principal Engineer

As Principal Engineer for Sustrans Scotland, Paul leads the Engineering Team and manages the delivery of the engineering programme of works across the country.

As an Incorporated Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Highway Engineers, Paul has over 12 years’ experience in investigation, design, maintenance, and construction projects.  He is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and sits on the Board of Directors at Tactran.

Prior to Sustrans Paul’s experience primarily related to the transport sector.  This included six years with Strategic Road Safety Teams; accident investigation and prevention schemes alongside strategic route reviews across the trunk road network.

Find out more about Sustrans’ engineering projects in Scotland

Engineering team

Emma Young, BEng (Hons)

National Cycle Network Route 1 between Dundee and Arbroath, August 2019
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Emma Young is an Engineer for Sustrans in Scotland. Her involvement in Sustrans’ Stewardship programme has developed her skills as an engineer.

Since joining the team in 2018 as a graduate, Emma has gained a huge variety of experience. From assisting with the preparation of construction tenders, site supervision and contract management to leading on structural vegetation clearance works, her role has improved her understanding of both civil and structural engineer works.

She is currently working on the detailed design of a section of National Cycle Network to ensure its design life for a further 20 years.

Working for Sustrans has allowed her to get outdoors and improve access for those less able.

Find out more about Sustrans’ engineering projects in Scotland.

Engineering team

Claire Frost, BEng (Hons) MSc

National Cycle Network Route 1 between Dundee and Arbroath, August 2019
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Claire Frost joined Sustrans Scotland in 2018 as an Engineer and is working towards her Chartership.

She designs and project manages National Cycle Network improvement works across Scotland and provides engineering support to the Places for Everyone and Street Design teams.

Prior to Sustrans, Claire worked in renewable energy as a project manager, designer and technical resource for wind, hydro and district heating projects.

She is also an accomplished athlete having qualified for the Red Bull Pump Track World Championships 2019 and named British Snowboard Big Air and Slopestyle Champion in 2008. She is also a member of the GB Park and Pipe team.

Find out more about Sustrans’ engineering works in Scotland.