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20mph roll out in the Scottish Borders

We hear from Philippa Gilhooly, Team Leader, Traffic and Road Safety, Scottish Borders Council and Greg Fountas, Lecturer, School of Engineering & the Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, who share how they used data and public feedback to convert this temporary 20mph trial to permanent.

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Monitoring active travel infrastructure during Covid-19

Sustrans’ Martin Laban, Evaluation Manager for the Research and Monitoring Unit outlines the principles of monitoring and evaluation techniques in relation to Spaces for People.

Dynamic engagement

Monitoring and evaluating the impact of Spaces for People projects is more important than ever before due to the limited opportunity for engagement on temporary emergency measures that are being introduced.

Sustrans offer a broad range of monitoring techniques in support of this to help assess how Spaces for People projects are delivering for communities in response to Covid-19.

In this knowledge sharing session, Sustrans Evaluation Manager, Research and Monitoring Unit, Martin Laban discusses the value of understanding the impact of temporary measures have had throughout the UK in helping to shape future permanent infrastructure.

Guidance on standard best practice for monitoring and evaluation can be found here.

Three strategic principles

When it comes to monitoring and evaluation, there are three main strategies that can be empoyed.

  • Process Evaluation – Attempt to understand why you may or may not have achieved your outcomes. Did it relate to the how it was delivered, factors beyond control of the project, or process and approach used?
  • Look – Employ visual monitoring techniques in order to see how where your project is and isn’t working (i.e. automatic counters, manual counts, video analysis of traffic speed, volume or ATC).
  • Listen – Engage meaningfully with communities and key stakeholders to understand public perception of temporary measures (i.e. GIS and survey tools). This has been successfully employed within Spaces for People through Commonplace and Space to Move tools.

Questions Answered

  • Why is monitoring and evaluation important?
  • What strategies are most effective for understanding Spaces for People impacts?
  • How can Sustrans help support local authorities monitor and evaluate their project delivery?
  • What has monitoring and evaluation of Spaces for People interventions actually shown us?

Note: the examples shown are in no way prescriptive and are for information only. Where specific products are shown in this document, this does not constitute Sustrans’ endorsement of that product.

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Engage • Inspire • Learn News SfP

The Highland Council – lessons learned

Gaining insights


In today’s session, Colin Howell and Craig Baxter from The Highland Council share their experiences of implementing Spaces for People temporary infrastructure changes across the region.

Doug Mitchell and Jess Action from Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit (RMU) team also give further explanation of the data driven support Sustrans has provided The Highland Council.

This knowledge sharing session aims to give partners key insights and valuable waymarkers about how to make their most of their own suite of temporary Spaces for People proposals.

Looking back


One of the major focus points of the Highland Council’s intervention plan was linking key healthcare facilities throughout Inverness.

Temporary cycle lanes on Milburn Road improve active travel links to Raigmore Hospital from Inverness city centre. Ewen Donaldson/Sustrans

By creating temporary cycle lanes and widening footways along the routes which connect healthcare facilities, the Council has been able to expand the opportunities for physical distancing and support safe access for for key workers.

Another suite of temporary interventions in the Highland capital has focussed on creating spaces for physical distancing along main shopping streets and tourist areas.

As lockdown eases and people begin to return to these areas in greater numbers, these changes could prove vital in allowing residents and visitors to get around whilst protecting public health.

Bridge Street is just one of the many streets in Inverness city centre that has benefited from Spaces for People interventions. Ewen Donaldson/Sustrans

Temporary road closures and speed restrictions introduced in places such as Dingwall, Fort William and Portree have also helped keep rural communities safe from the spread of Covid-19.

Questions answered


  • What learning experiences has the Highland Council gained and which have been the most useful?
  • What are the main achievements of the Council’s Spaces for People project?
  • How has partnering on Spaces for People differed for the authority as compared with Places for Everyone?
  • How can Sustrans assist local authorities with project research and monitoring?

More information on The Highland Council’s Spaces for People project can be found here.

Note: the examples shown are in no way prescriptive and are for information only. Where specific products are shown in this document, this does not constitute Sustrans’ endorsement of that product.

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Engage • Inspire • Learn SfP

Sustrans’ Spaces for People offer

Sustrans officers provide an overview of the support package available to partners through Spaces for People, from newly published design guidance to quick wins using Commonplace.

What we can do

Continuing with our online discussion and workshops sessions, this week Principal Engineer with Sustrans Paul Cronin guides you through the support we are able to offer local authorities and statutory bodies in relation to the Spaces for People programme.

As a quick overview, below are the key areas we are able to assist with:

  • Identification of network planning and engagement priorities
  • Design of concept and detailed general arrangements
  • Procurement and contract management to support implementation
  • Communication feedback and the interpretation of monitoring data

Different Sustrans officers delve into the specifics of what this support looks like. A brief summary of this is provided below.

Design guidance

Over the past few months, Sustrans have been working in collaboration with engineering and design consultancy Atkins in order to provide our partners with a comprehensive roadmap of temporary infrastructure designs that will support public health through Covid-19.

Sustrans Senior Urban Designer René Lindsay talks through the guidance as it relates to walking and wheeling, cycling routes, traffic management and signage options.

This graphic illustrates how different temporary interventions vary in suitability depending on their implementation period. Atkins.

You can keep up to date with the latest published guidance on our dedicated Design Guidance Showcase page.

Network planning and mapping in Edinburgh

Infrastructure Coordinators for Sustrans Alasdair Anderson and Angus Calder provide key insights into the provisions City of Edinburgh Council have set forward as part of their Spaces for People programme.

This focusses on improvements designed to enhanced the city’s existing bus network, providing physically distanced access to shopping streets and essential services, as well a widespread modal shift towards active travel through improved segregation on arterial routes.

To assist with this, Sustrans have mapped pavements widths throughout the city using ArcGIS and Python software in order to help determine the most effective locations for temporary interventions to be implemented.

“Edinburgh have taken a genuinely really ambitious, city-wide, strategic approach”.

Angus Calder, Infrastrucutre Coordinator, Sustrans

Commonplace tips

A number of local authorities are using Commonplace for their Spaces for People projects in order to gather public feedback on proposed interventions as well as encourage participation in designs.

East Renfrewshire Council received support from Sustrans in utilising Commonplace to maximise public participation in the design of temporary interventions.

Using the East Renfrewshire Commonplace as a case study, Community Engagement Officer for Sustrans Tremaine Bilham demonstrates how best to secure quick wins and maximise the opportunities available when using the engagement tool.

Union Street, Dundee

Using the plans to close Union Street in Dundee to traffic as an example, Infrastructure Officer for Sustrans Injoanna Lai outlines the potential temporary interventions that could be put in place in similar layouts to support public health and active travel.

Union Street in Dundee is set to be closed to traffic in order to allow greater physical distancing for pedestrians and cyclists. Paul Reid/Sustrans.

Research and monitoring support

Martin Laban, Evaluation Manager with our Research and Monitoring Unit (RMU), provides an overview of the types project monitoring support Sustrans are able to offer partners, and the data collection strategies employed therein.

In particular, take a look at how our Space to Move platform has provided a rich and live dataset on the temporary measures being implemented throughout the UK so far and how the public has responded to this.

Questions answered

  • What support is Sustrans able to offer local authorities through its Spaces for People programme?
  • What does our design guidance say? How can our design guidance help partners implement the most effective temporary interventions?
  • How can local authorities make the best use of Commonplace?
  • What support can our Research and Monitoring Unit offer.

Stay Updated

New knowledge sharing sessions such as this one will be published on our Showcase website each week.

Learn more about the Spaces for People programme on our dedicated Showcase page.

Why not keep up to date with the latest Spaces for People programme developments by signing up to our Spaces for People newsletter?

Note: the examples shown are in no way prescriptive and are for information only. Where specific products are shown in this document, this does not constitute Sustrans’ endorsement of that product.

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Engage • Inspire • Learn SfP

Edinburgh’s response to Covid-19

Phil Noble and Chris McGarvey from City of Edinburgh Council discuss creating temporary infrastructure in response to Covid-19.

Knowledge Sharing

As part of the roll-out of our new temporary infrastructure programme, Spaces for People, Sustrans Scotland is hosting a series of online discussions and workshops in collaboration with local authorities.

These sessions will share best tips and guidance on how local authorities can respond to Covid-19 effectively through facilitating safe and accessible active travel routes for life after lockdown.

Spaces for People offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during Covid-19. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland.

Silverknowes Road in Edinburgh was one of the first road closures to be made in Scotland in response to Covid-19 in order to allow space for people to exercise safely. Colin Hattersley/Sustrans

Thinking on your feet

As lockdown restrictions ease, maintaining physical distancing will need to address a greater number of permitted activities.

In our first session, Phil Noble and Chris McGarvey from City of Edinburgh Council discuss their approach to these tackling these issues and on how they are providing temporary infrastructure in response to Covid-19.

“We’re looking at a city wide programme which will be trying to give people greater choice, particularly to cycle”.

Phil Noble, Active Travel Team Leader, City of Edinburgh Council
A once busy throughfare in the heart of Edinburgh, Waverley Bridge is now almost entirely empty. Streets such as this one are set to undergo changes in order to promote physical distancing. Neil Hanna/Sustrans

City of Edinburgh Council applied for Spaces for People funding shortly after the programme was announced.

In total, they have received £5 million for temporary infrastructure projects.

“There hasn’t been a decision to implement this beyond the emergency, but I think we can learn a lot of lessons from the things that we do. It might even help change people’s opinions, they might really enjoy wider footways and the benefits that cycle lanes provide”.

Chris McGarvey, Senior Transport Team Leader, City of Edinburgh Council

With work well underway in various parts of Edinburgh, it is hoped that the proposals will make the essential journeys of key workers easier and safer over the coming months.

Questions answered

  • How are City of Edinburgh Council prioritising which streets/neighbourhoods should be addressed?
  • How do City of Edinburgh Council plan to implement temporary changes in an agile and quick way, and what have they learnt so far from those they’ve implemented to date?
  • What temporary measures are they considering and why?

Stay Updated

More knowledge sharing discussions such as this one will be posted in the weeks to come.

Learn more about the Spaces for People programme on our dedicated Showcase page.

Why not keep up to date with the latest Spaces for People programme developments by signing up to our Spaces for People newsletter?