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Multi-million pound active travel project in Glasgow rebrands

Following extensive community consultation, Glasgow City Council and Sustrans Scotland have announced that they have rebranded the Woodside Mini Holland active travel project as ‘Connecting Woodside’.

The project, a winner of Sustrans Scotland’s 2017 Community Links PLUS (CLPLUS) design competition, will deliver world-class walking and cycling infrastructure throughout the Woodside community. Through its area-based approach, benefits to the community will include improved health, wellbeing and an enhanced environment.

Pupils at St Joseph’s Primary School in Woodside contributed to the rebranding through submitting creative name suggestions which assisted in shaping the brand of Connecting Woodside. Staff and pupils were joined by Sustrans Scotland CLPLUS Project Co-ordinator, Marie Davis, and Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, Anna Richardson, to announce the updated branding.

The new identity reflects the aims of the project which is to connect Woodside to the wider city for sustainable travel as well as the Woodside community. This will be achieved through implementing an area-based approach to improve walking, cycling and public space.

Sustrans Scotland Head of Project Delivery, Infrastructure, Matthew Macdonald said: “The new project name, Connecting Woodside, reflects the input and engagement of local Woodside residents and community groups.

“This is an exciting first step in the transformation of the area into a neighbourhood which will be safer and more pleasant for people to live in and travel through by foot or by bike.”

Connecting Woodside originally took inspiration from London’s Mini-Holland competition and transport infrastructure in the Netherlands. Part of the project will include a segregated cycle route along St George’s Road from Charing Cross to Possil Road and will connect to the Sauchiehall Street “Avenue” that is currently being delivered through the City Deal Regeneration.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction at Glasgow City Council, said: “The pupils have played a key part in helping rename Connecting Woodside. It fits perfectly. This million pound development will connect Woodside to surrounding areas and beyond, making it safer and better for people walking and cycling.

“Connecting Woodside is more than segregated cycle routes and will transform the area through the improved pedestrian and cycling access, increased cycle parking facilities for residents, schools and businesses as well as public realm improvements.”

The proposal also includes the expansion of the cycle network into the city centre, St George’s Road, Woodlands Road, Garscube Road and the Forth and Clyde Canal in a bid to encourage cycling as the favoured commuter option. The project has the potential to provide a launch pad for a similar approach across Glasgow.

In addition to the health and wellbeing benefits that the extensive cycle network will bring to the surrounding area, Connecting Woodside will strengthen local economies and improve road safety encouraging people to walk and cycle.

Susan Allan, head teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School, said: “Staff, pupils and parents have collectively welcomed the Connecting Woodside project which will create safer routes for our pupils to walk and cycle to school, after school clubs and leisure facilities. We’re excited to watch the area flourish and transform into a community that favours transport by bike or foot.”

Successful projects in the CLPLUS competition are funded by the Scottish Government, with local authorities match funding the grant. Connecting Woodside was awarded £7 million for the development of the programme over the next three years with Glasgow City Council providing a further £1 million in addition to city deal funding for Sauchiehall Street.

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First trees planted on South City Way

Once complete, the SCW, which is match-funded by the Scottish Government, will deliver a 3km segregated cycle and pedestrian route from Queen’s Park in Glasgow’s Southside to Stockwell Street in the heart of the Merchant City.

Additionally, the SCW project will help transform the environment along the route through delivering community space and green areas which will strengthen the local economy and increase the quality of the public realm. The tree planting on Albert Avenue and Albert Road in the city’s Southside marks the first step towards to implementing this measure.

Lucy Gillie, general manager at South Seeds, said: “There is real regeneration happening along Victoria Road and the South City Way is undoubtedly is very much part of this.

“Creating green space within the area will attract more people to this part of the city as well as enhance the space for current residents and the community.”

The transformed space on Albert Avenue and Albert Road will feature pedestrianised areas which on completion will host cycle racks, benches and shrub planters as well as the trees.

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Works Commence on Community Links PLUS Project in Glasgow

The Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, today launched initial works of the South City Way (SCW), Glasgow City Council’s winning bid to the 2016 Community Links PLUS (CLPLUS) competition run by Sustrans Scotland.

Having impressed the judging panel with its bold and high quality design, the SCW will deliver a 3km segregated cycle and pedestrian route from Queen’s Park in Glasgow’s Southside to Stockwell Street in the heart of the Merchant City.

Local business owner, Shoaib Shafaatulla, Deputy Director of Sustrans Scotland, Daisy Narayanan, and Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, Anna Richardson, joined Mr Yousaf to celebrate ground breaking activity.

In addition to the creation of world class active travel infrastructure in a densely populated area of Glasgow, the SCW will deliver a host of community, health and business benefits through its place-making approach.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said: “I am delighted to join partners and local businesses in launching the SCW. Glasgow City Council has demonstrated real vision through its commitment to develop this major active travel route from the south side to the city centre.

“The expert panel who evaluated the 2016 bid was incredibly impressed with the high level of design and innovation shown by the SCW project. Whether you live, travel or work in Glasgow, this infrastructure will allow generations of people to better and easier enjoy the benefits of greener and healthier modes of transport.

“The Scottish Government’s Active Nation initiative is designed to encourage more of us to make everyday and leisure journeys sustainably – on foot and by bike. To achieve this vision, we are doubling our investment in active travel, from £40 to £80 million next year, demonstrating our commitment to make our towns and cities more walking and cycling friendly.”

Funded by the Scottish Government and run by Sustrans Scotland, the design competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.

Granted £3.25 million of funding from the Scottish Government with Glasgow City Council match funding the investment, the SCW is expected to be complete in late 2018.  On completion, journey times between Queen’s Park and the city centre are estimated to take 30 minutes on foot and 12 minutes by bike.

The first phase of works on Albert Avenue and Albert Road in the city’s Southside will see the sections of these streets that adjoin to Victoria Road transformed into attractive and pedestrianised public areas with cycle racks and green space.

Sustrans Scotland, Deputy Director, Daisy Narayan said: “Glasgow City Council’s SCW shows real ambition and vision towards improving conditions for people who choose to walk or cycle along a major commuter route, while also connecting a densely populated area with the city centre.

“Once completed, the South City Way will improve travel choices and accessibility for residents and visitors. It will also reduce congestion, improve air quality, enable easier use of public transport, and create places where people want to socialise, shop and spend time in.

“Our hope is for the SCW to become a leading example of how places that integrate people moving by foot, bike or public transport lead to stronger local economies and healthier people than places designed around vehicles.

In addition to creating a segregated route between Queen’s Park and the city centre, central to the SCW’s vision is the redevelopment of Victoria Road as a place for sustainable walking, cycling, bus and rail travel.

Delivering such sustainable infrastructure will support smaller retailers in the area, create healthier communities and deliver safer, more attractive streets. Works on Victoria Road will commence in early 2018.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “Today marks the start of a fantastic and very exciting project that’s going to bring huge improvements to the area and the people who live here. There’s been extensive engagement with local communities, groups and businesses from day one and this will continue throughout the project.

“We want to see more people cycling and walking, and the right infrastructure is key in ensuring these options are safe, enjoyable and sustainable. Increasing the number of everyday journeys by bike brings benefits both to individuals and our city.”

Ground breaking activity comes after the recent announcement of the 2017 CLPLUS competition results that revealed all five finalist projects will be granted up to 50% of the project cost to deliver its proposed active travel design.

Glasgow City Council again was a deserved winner with its Woodside Mini Holland bid, alongside entries from Stirling Council, Highland Council and two projects from City of Edinburgh Council.  These four councils will share over £22.5m in match funding.

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Raising the standards of walking and cycling projects in Scotland

Sustrans recognises the importance of bringing partners together from across the country to share learning and best practice which is why, four years ago, we started our Raising The Standards Day.

Packed with interactive workshops, presentations and cycle study tours, the day encourages partners and stakeholders who we work with through our Community Links grant funding, to think about how we can recalibrate our streets in favour of people.

Raising future standards

In light of the Scottish Government’s recent commitment to double the budget for active travel, we have never had a better opportunity to raise the standards and ambition across Community Links and Community Links PLUS programmes.

This increase in funding is an opportunity to demonstrate what we can do for our communities when we design places and spaces that work for people, and not just vehicles.

There will be a lot of eyes on our sector over the next three years, and we want to give them something positive to talk about.

Working with our partners, it is essential that we deliver well planned projects that link communities to infrastructure through exemplary community engagement, and bring together strategic partnerships across sectors, organisations and departments, to maximise our reach and impact.

Making a difference to policy

The projects that we have already delivered in partnership through our infrastructure programmes, have and are influencing key decision makers across Scotland.

This was brought home to me when chairing the 2017 Community Links PLUS panel. Roy Brannen, Chief Executive of Transport Scotland, said he was blown away by the wealth of information, the quality, and the amount of hard work that had gone into the five proposals.

As time will demonstrate all five proposals are obviously worth funding, but I’m also sure they had a large part to play in influencing the government to double the budget for active travel.

Making a difference to people

Sustrans’ work is not only making a difference at these political levels of influence. Crucially we’re also making a difference to peoples’ lives.

For example you only need to look at the River Lossie Cycle Path in Moray, which is bringing out the locals’ inner child and breathing life into a long forgotten mode of active travel, the rollerskates. Or the resident of Milngavie who bought a bike after construction of the Bear’s Way. Or the Doctor in Dalbeattie who started prescribing walking and cycling after we built a shared use path.

Our work enables healthier lifestyles and we must continue to do so, ensuring that we’re reaching the communities that need it the most.

Moving forward

Our recent ‘Transport Poverty in Scotland’ report highlighted that more than one million people in this country are at risk of transport poverty – where a lack of affordable and accessible transport is a barrier to accessing essential services and work.

We can’t take our eye off the ball, and we must focus on delivering high quality projects that will lead to an ‘active nation’.

And, working together with partners and the Scottish Government, we will continue to deliver ambitious, high quality projects that will help enable more people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.

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Engineering team

Antonio Porcina, MEng

National Cycle Network Route 1 between Dundee and Arbroath, August 2019
holding image

As a Senior Engineering Technician for Sustrans Scotland, Antonio Porcina provides technical and CAD support on various projects across teams. He project manages the Tarbert to Kennacraig National Cycle Network project and is charged with developing and maintaining a consistent drawing management system in the Engineering Team.

Prior to joining Sustrans Antino gained experience working within Green Energy, Fire Prevention Systems and Precast Concrete, between Italy and UK. He was also part of the Engineering Team of the iconic Queensferry Crossing Bridge Project.

Having grown up in rural Sardinia, nature and the environment have always been central in his life.

View examples of Sustrans’ Engineering projects

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Five Community Links PLUS projects win funding

Run by Sustrans and funded by the Scottish Government, the Community Links PLUS (CLPLUS) competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.

After an intensive three-stage process all five short-listed projects will be awarded a grant of up to 50% of the total project costs, with the grants totalling £22,540,360, from Transport Scotland funds, delivered through Sustrans Scotland.

Each project is expected to begin development within the next two months, with Inverness City Active Travel Network (Highland Council) forecast to be complete by Summer 2020; Walk, Cycle, Live (Stirling Council) and Woodside Mini-Holland (Glasgow City Council) by Summer 2021. Both Meadows to George Street and the West Edinburgh Active Travel Network (Edinburgh City Council) are forecast to be complete by Summer 2022.

CLPLUS is demonstrating that designing places around the needs of people delivers a wide range of benefits, including boosting local economies, supporting smaller retailers, healthier communities and safer, more attractive streets.

Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted to announce this morning that all five Community Links PLUS shortlisted projects have been successful in securing funding from the Scottish Government.

“The expert panel who evaluated the bids were impressed by the local authorities’ high level of design and innovation. Each bid is entirely worthy of receiving support today and I want to thank the panel, Sustrans and each local authority who took the time to get involved in the award.

“Our ambitious Active Nation initiative is designed to encourage many more of us to make everyday and leisure journeys sustainably – on foot and by bike. To achieve this vision, we are doubling our investment in active travel, from £40 to £80 million each year, demonstrating our commitment to make our towns and cities more walking and cycling friendly.

“Through the Community Links PLUS award, people will be able to enjoy new active travel routes and whether it is for commuting or leisure, more people across Scotland will be able to enjoy the benefits of greener and healthier modes of transport.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Climate Week is an opportunity to get more people talking about and taking action on climate change, and I am pleased to be supporting the Community Links Plus active travel project, enabling more people to walk and cycle more often.

“We all have a role to play in taking action on climate change, and this is a fantastic example of how people can reduce their own carbon footprint through using greener modes of travel.”

Sustrans Scotland Deputy Director for Built Environment Daisy Narayanan said: “Funding all five final projects is a bold step towards a healthier, more sustainable and vibrant Scotland which designs places around the needs of people over vehicular access.

“The Community Links PLUS proposals were so impressive this year that the panel felt strongly that all the five final proposals should become a reality. We thank the Minster for Transport and the Islands for taking the unprecedented step of committing to fund each of the five finalists.

“With the backing of Transport Scotland, Sustrans will now work in partnership with all four local authorities to turn their pioneering visions into reality. These five exemplar projects will demonstrate the wide ranging benefits that well designed places bring, such as boosting footfall for local business, improving the health of local people and creating safer environments that are more pleasant to live in and move through.”