ArtRoots, supported by funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans, works in partnership with local community groups to make artistic and aesthetic improvements in conjunction with PfE infrastructure projects in Scotland.
Do you have a PfE infrastructure project that could benefit from some artistic input?
Think about your project, is it community-led?
Are you a community organisation? To process an application we would need to see: 1. A signed constitution and 2. the required number of board members in accordance with your constitution.
Do you think that the inclusion of an artwork could help the local community to become more interested in the project?
Will an artwork such as a mural, sculpture or decorative seating for example encourage your local community to walk, wheel or cycle along your new path?
Find out more about the ArtRoots to see how your project could benefit and download the guidelines and application forms below
A new off-road shared-use path between the county town of Peebles and the satellite village of Eddleston in the Scottish Borders officially opened on the 17th June 2023.
Spanning 6km in length, the Eddleston Water Path provides a convenient and accessible route for local people and visitors to the area to walk, wheel and cycle between the settlements, connecting communities, businesses and key services like never before.
The new path will also benefit equestrians in the area, providing a safe and more relaxed riding experience set back from the road.
Construction work started on the project in late 2021 and was completed in early June 2023.
Community ambition in action
From the very beginning, the Eddleston Water Path project has been shaped by the ambitions of the local community.
Local groups and campaigners were instrumental in calling for improved active travel infrastructure in the area, having spent years promoting their vision for a healthier and more sustainable future.
Peebles Community Trust (PCT) led the design of the project once funding was secured, and feedback was gathered at every stage to ensure the Eddleston Water Path reflected the needs and wants of residents.
This approach has resulted in the creation of a well-loved community asset which has provided affordable access to employment opportunities, key services and treasured greenspace.
Accessibility for everyone
Before the Eddleston Water Path was constructed, travelling between Peebles and Eddleston was only possible via a busy and fast-moving road.
Now complete, the project provides an alternative route where all residents and visitors to the area, regardless of age or ability, have the option to leave the car at home and walk, wheel and cycle instead.
To futureproof the project, flood mitigation and measures to increase biodiversity were built into the designs.
The path has also contributed to the areas extensive network of paths for leisure and riding, linking into a wider network that includes the existing Tweed Valley Railway Path to the south.
A cause for celebration
The Eddleston Water Path was officially opened on the 17th June 2023 at an event attended by local residents, project partners and elected representatives.
Following a series of speeches, a piped procession was laid on for those in attendance before the ribbon was cut by local primary school student Conor.
Speaking ahead of the event, Councillor John Greenwell, Executive Member for Roads & Maintenance, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that the new Eddleston Water Path has been completed and that members of the public are now making use of the route.”
“This project has been a true collaborative effort, with thanks to the Scottish Government and SOSE for their financial support in helping make this project a reality and also to the Community Council’s and Trust’s from both Peebles and Eddleston for their support and tireless efforts.”
“A dedicated path will ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the area whilst also encouraging others to choose more active methods of travel between the two settlements.”
Cllr John Greenwell, Scottish Borders Council
Director at Sustrans Scotland, Karen McGregor, added:
“We’re very pleased the Eddleston Water Path is now open to the public.”
“This new route creates a vital traffic-free space for walking, wheeling and cycling between Peebles and Eddleston, enabling residents and visitors to the area to travel actively while accessing key services and local greenspace.”
“We hope the new path makes it safer and easier for lots more people to leave the car at home for short everyday journeys.”
Karen McGregor, Scotland Director, Sustrans
SOSE Chair, Professor Russel Griggs, said:
“SOSE is committed through all we do to supporting a Wellbeing Economy and all the positive things that it brings for communities.”
“The new Eddleston Water Path is a fantastic example of this approach, encouraging local people and visitors to get active and help address issues such as fuel poverty and community isolation and improve resident’s health and wellbeing.”
Located in a residential area to the east of the town, Papdale Park encompasses a sprawling network of meandering paths and modern landscaping initiatives that have truly transformed the space for the better.
Key features of the park include a deculverted burn, an array of walking, wheeling, and cycling routes, as well as native shrubs and trees, and a wildflower meadow for enhanced biodiversity.
This is topped off with a stunning community plaza and new road crossing linking the park to Kirkwall Grammar School to ensure trips are as safe and accessible as possible.
Further excitement still awaits, however, as this only marks the completion of the first phase of the Papdale Park project.
Once funding is secured through Places for Everyone for the second phase of work, plans can begin to take shape for the creation of an all-ages-and-abilities play park for local residents to enjoy.
A community vision
Plans for the Papdale Park originated from a series of engagement sessions held in 2018, delivered by Orkney Islands Council as part of the Your Kirkwall Place Plan.
During these sessions, local community group Papdale East Play Association (PEPA) brought forward a range of ideas on how to improve the existing but dilapidated play park, complementing neatly with the wider aspirations of the community.
The project was also borne out of the Council’s Play Area Strategy, which identified Papdale East as an area where opportunities for play were in need of improvement.
On these solid foundations, emerging plans were then carefully shaped in accordance with considered community feedback in order to ensure the best design possible was ultimately produced.
The resulting blueprints laid out an ambitious vision for a new community greenspace for people of all ages to enjoy, smartly futureproofed against the impacts of climate change, changing technology, and an anticipated rise in active travel.
A memorable occasion
Despite being informally open since the end of last year, local Orcadians turned out in good number to see the ribbon cutting and Papdale Park officially opened.
Held on Friday 21st April, a series of speeches and guided ecology walks were available to those in attendance. Free cycle servicing and an e-bike display were also provided to attendees.
PEPA, who were instrumental in the design and engagement of the Papdale Park project, were also on hand to provide refreshments, a bake sale, and a special treasure hunt.
Karen McGregor, Scotland Director at Sustrans, was delighted with the collective effort that went into making the park possible. She said:
“Papdale Park is a project designed by and for the local community, which is what underpins its success.
At every step and pedal of the way, we engaged closely with residents to find out what they wanted and how they wanted it.
We are grateful for all the input received and look forward to seeing work continue to ensure Papdale Park remains a much-loved local landmark for generations to come.”
Karen McGregor, Scotland Director, Sustrans
The ribbon itself was cut by Orkney Islands Council Convener Graham Bevan. Flanked by pupils attending from Papdale Primary School, he said:
It is an honour to be asked to perform the official opening of this new, much improved community park space within Kirkwall which is for everyone to enjoy.
“It is so important to retain green spaces within our towns as we all know how important getting outdoors, enjoying some fresh air, exercise, greenery and wildlife is to our physical and mental wellbeing.”
Graham Bevan, Convener, Orkney Islands Council
Building on success
Papdale Park marks the third major project to be delivered on Orkney in quick succession through Places for Everyone.
The Places and Spaces project helped deliver key street layout changes to make getting in and around Kirkwall town centre safer and easier.
Sustrans also worked closely with Orkney Island Council to complete the development of the Arcadia Park, which provides an attractive path network and landscaped link to Balfour Hospital to the south.
£670,000 was allocated for the Papdale Park project, provided by Orkney Islands Council, NatureScot’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund, and Places for Everyone, an active travel infrastructure programme funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans.
Additional funding for the project came from a Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes grant allocation and the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund. Design work was funded by HITRANS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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”.
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?
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.
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
The Dumfries Neighbourhood Street Design project transformed a once-neglected part of Dumfries town centre into a vibrant and high-quality pedestrianised space for people to walk, wheel and cycle.
Developed jointly by residents, Sustrans and Dumfries and Galloway Council, the project was delivered in response to longstanding concerns over traffic movement in the Queen Street neighbourhood of Dumfries.
People living and working in Queen Street, McLellan Street, Brooke Street and Cumberland Street closely guided the changes carried out in their neighbourhood from initial design ideas through to the construction process.
This resulted in the installation of innovative artwork, traditional Victorian street lighting, gateways and a touch of greenery in the form of trees and planters.
The project also saw changes made to the road layout of all four streets and the area outside Theatre Royal on Shakespeare Street, including the addition of raised tables, wider pavements and street furniture.
This helped make the streets safer and more attractive for people to walk, wheel and cycle.
A collaborative effort
The team at Sustrans worked closely with the local community at each stage of the project to deliver the community’s vision for their local area.
A variety of engagement methods were used, including competitions, workshops, on-street consultations, guided bike rides, pop-up installations, and a ‘Big Lunch.’
The activities were specifically designed to bring people together, to inspire long term interest in their neighbourhood, to strengthen social connection and empowerment, and to co-design solutions.
During the project, residents of the area decided to form a constituted community group, DG1 Neighbours, which continues to undertake neighbourhood improvements even after the initial project was itself completed, such as the creation of a community garden.
Sustrans’ aim was to build up trust and learn about the community – getting people out of their houses, meeting their neighbours and bringing them together.
This approach achieves far more than better street design: it gives communities a sense of empowerment, momentum, and community cohesion.
Voices from the team
Paul Ruffles, Principal Designer at Sustrans Scotland said:
“This is a benchmark project for high quality collaborative design. This project showcases what can be achieved when communities and partners to work together to build ambition and implement visions for the places they live in.”
“As a result of this project the neighbourhood has become a greener, quieter space with a strong character that celebrates the areas heritage and actively encourages people to spend time in or walk, wheel or cycle through.”
Local community group DG1 Neighbours added:
“It’s great to see the positive changes that have taken place over the past few years in our neighbourhood and the celebration event helped to remind everyone of the transformation.”
“Thanks to Sustrans and Dumfries and Galloway Council for their determination to see the project through to the end. More residents are taking pride in the neighbourhood and they are even starting to adopt the on-street planters.”
“We now look forward to formalising our community group and building on the successful outcomes of this project.”
The project was jointly funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sustrans with funding from Transport Scotland.