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Case Studies News News & Opinion Places for Everyone

New £18 million path opens between Broughty Ferry and Monifieth

On Monday 6th May, locals turned out in number at Castle Green in Broughty Ferry to mark the official opening of a new all-accessible walking, wheeling and cycling path along the River Tay.

Following along National Cycle Network Route 1, the £18m project sought to provide a safe and direct walking, wheeling and cycling option for residents and visitors to the area.

Now complete, the 2.5-mile long off-road path is already proving popular, with more people than ever able to leave the car at home for short, everyday journeys.

The almost £18 million funding for the project was received through Places for Everyone, an active travel infrastructure programme backed by Transport Scotland and managed by Sustrans.

Attendees at the event were greeted with refreshments and family-friendly activities throughout the day, including a bike skills track organised by Dundee and Angus Cycle Hub and dolphin spotting hosted by St Andrews University.

The ribbon cutting, heralding the official opening of the path, took place at noon and was performed by Councillor Steven Rome from Dundee City Council, followed by the unveiling of several stunning new artworks along the route.

Setting new standards

The new bidirectional cycleway is separated from the carriageway so even less confident cyclist can use it with ease. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2023.

The tall ambitions behind the Broughty Ferry to Monifieth project were clear from the outset.

Following early consultation with residents and businesses in 2019, initial proposals sought to deliver a safe and accessible traffic-free route between the two communities.

Tying in neatly with the planned Broughty Ferry Flood Protection Scheme which was already underway, the new route would provide a direct and continuous link along the scenic coastline and enable people of all ages and abilities to travel actively every day.

Overwhelming support was received for the suggested upgrades, with over 75% of those engaged in favour of the concept designs which were presented.

Despite setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising costs of construction materials within the industry, momentum continued to build as designs progressed, demonstrating the effective partnership working of both Angus Council and Dundee City Council.

Clear demarcation of the pavement and the cycleway ensures all users are able to travel confidently and securely. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2023.

As well as a spacious new bidirectional cycleway running for 2.5 miles between Castle Approach in Broughty Ferry and Monfieth railway station, significant public space improvements were also introduced, including additional seating, widened access barriers and improved lighting.

The communities were also closely involved in the design and delivery of a selection of stunning new artworks which complement the route.

Another major consideration from the project was in ensuring that local nature and wildlife would be preserved in abundance within the delivery of the scheme.

In order to do this, existing coastal dunes were protected within the project designs and extensive wildflower planting along the route has allowed biodiversity to continue to flourish.

One particularly significant milestone for the project was achieved in March 2024, when the new 5-metre wide Dighty Bridge was unveiled to the public.

The new accessible crossing replaces the an exceedingly narrow structure, opening up active travel to everyone and providing uninterrupted access to National Cycle Network Route 1.

An artistic achievement

Artist Fanny Lam Christie created the Tay Fins three bronze dolphin sculpture which overlook the beach. ©Dundee City Council, 2024.

Building a sense of community ownership and a sense of place was of the important importance for the project team.

This was achieved through the installation of a number of uniquely local sculptures and artworks along the route.

With seven pieces having been commissioned in total, those travelling along the path can now stop and enjoy the impressive displays whilst also learning about the surrounding area and its history.

These include a bollard trail by Tilde Arts, a poetic mural by Barry Roberston, and the Windmill Gardens by Louise Kirby which offers a quiet and tranquil space to unwind.

Most keenly anticipated, however, was the naming of the Tay Fins, designed by artist Fanny Lam Christie, depicting three breaching dolphins cast in bronze.

Following a poll of public suggestions, the names were revealed on the day of the opening – Dooker, Haar and Brochtie were chosen.

Community in focus

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony and the artwork reveals, delivery partners reflected on the project.

Lee Muir, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Sustrans, said:

“When we make walking, wheeling and cycling easier, everyone benefits.”

“This new route between Broughty Ferry and Monifieth gives people the freedom and choice to make sustainable and active everyday journeys, reducing congestion on roads and helping to provide cleaner air for everyone.”

Lee Muir, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Sustrans

Councillor Steven Rome, Convener of Fair Work, Economic Growth & Infrastructure, Dundee City Council, said:

“This transformational and pioneering project has opened up an impressive route for active travel between Broughty Ferry and Monifieth and will links with the route right the way through Dundee.”

“This makes the area more attractive for visitors and locals alike and the public art programme is creating a real sense of place.”

Cllr Steven Rome, Convenor of Fair Work Economic Growth & Infrastructure, Dundee City Council

Councillor Mark McDonald, Communities Convenor for Angus Council, said:

“I’m pleased to see the next phase of the active travel route connecting Broughty Ferry and Monifieth officially opened.

“The area at Castle Green is looking great and the new user-friendly and accessible pathway means more people can use it to walk and cycle for everyday journeys and for fun.”

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to achieving this milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing the work progress as it continues further into Monifieth.” 

Cllr Mark McDonald, Communities Convenor, Angus Council
Categories
News News & Opinion Places for Everyone Research and Monitoring

Latest Places for Everyone annual impact report released

Following a year of rigorous analysis carried out by Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit (RMU), the 2022-23 evaluation report for the Places for Everyone programme is now available to the public. 
 
The latest findings offer key insights into some of the delivery activities Places for Everyone has carried out across the lifecycle of the programme, including how the programme has contributed to overarching Scottish Government objectives in active travel as well as Places for Everyone’s own benchmark outcomes. 
 
Backed by Transport Scotland, the Places for Everyone programme provides millions of pounds to local authorities and community groups every year in order to help create new and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure right across Scotland, from the Scottish Borders to the Western Isles. 
 
In order to demonstrate the impact of this funding, the 2022-23 report draws on monitoring data collected from a variety of different infrastructure projects delivered by the programme, as well as five in-depth project case studies. Data is collected by Sustrans RMU and by delivery partners.

What are the findings?

Overall, the results are incredibly positive. 

Measured against Scottish Government objectives, our analysis reveals an overall increase in route usage across Places for Everyone projects in the years following construction. 
 
Likewise, a majority of route users feel safe in using Places for Everyone routes. 
 
This was shown across different travel modes (i.e. walking and cycling) as well as demographic factors including age and gender. 
 
This is further supported by the finding of a significant reduction in casualty rates following Places for Everyone project delivery. 

In terms of the sheer amount of hard infrastructure that has been delivered through the programme, around 154km of protected and accessible routes had been created by the end of 2022-23. This compares to 54km by the end of 2016-17.   
 
Another key highlight demonstrates that projects are supported by the communities in which they are delivered.  From a sample of projects, almost three quarters of local residents supported proposals and felt their views had been taken into account as part of project development.  
 
Turning to health outcomes, reporting not only found overall reduced emissions across a sample of projects following delivery but also revealed a significant increase in the number of route users who agreed projects had helped increase their levels of physical activity. 
 
Taken together, these results evidence the value that Places for Everyone brings in increasing walking, wheeling and cycling journeys across Scotland, and consistently demonstrates the ability of the programme to fulfil its stated objectives.

What about specific projects?

Post-construction case studies from projects in and around Glasgow featured heavily in the report this year. 
 
The newly completed South City Way, which was delivered in partnership with Glasgow City Council, creating a safe and accessible cycleway from Queen’s Park to the heart of the city centre, was amongst those included.

The South City Way connects Queens Park to Glasgow city centre via a direct 3km route. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2023.

As well as a 20% reduction in vehicles travelling over the speed limit, monitoring here shows that active travel journeys along the route have increased by 30% following construction. 

In terms of cutting carbon emissions, findings also revealed a 53% decrease in CO2 since the South City Way was completed.   
 
Likewise, analysis was conducted for Stockingfield Bridge in the North of Glasgow. 
 
Delivered by Scottish Canals, the new bridge provides a quick and convenient off-road walking, wheeling and cycling link via the Forth and Clyde Canal network.

Stockingfield Bridge links communities together across North Glasgow and provides a vital missing link in the Forth and Clyde Canal Network. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2023

Results here demonstrated a significant increase in trips under 4 miles, as well as trips for work, school and visiting friends and family. 
 
The Bowline in West Dunbartonshire, also delivered by Scottish Canals, aimed to create an attractive and traffic-free connection between Glasgow city centre and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. 
 
Analysis of route usage show huge success in this regard, with trips almost doubling along the traffic-free route since its completion in late 2021.

The Bowline in West Dunbartonshire offers a safe and convenient traffic free route along National Cycle Network Route 7. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2024.

Outside of the cities, Gynack Gardens in Kingussie has also evidenced a truly impressive impact.
 
Working in partnership with The Highland Council and Cycle Friendly Kingussie, the Gynack Gardens project aimed to offer residents and visitors an attractive greenspace whilst also boosting active travel.

The new park in Kingussie has not only created a stunning new greenspace to socialise in but has also helped boost active travel in the area. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2024.

Since completion, the new park has helped support a 270% increase in walking, wheeling and cycling in the project area. 
 
The park also rated highly on user perceptions of safety, accessibility, and the extent to which the space has enhanced the local area. 
 
The Cumbernauld Green Route, completed at the close of 2022 in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council and Green Action Trust, provides a safe and convenient connection between the centre of Cumbernauld and surrounding communities, whilst also enhancing local greenspace.

At 2.3km in length, the Cumbernauld Green Route has linked up communities through improved paths, road crossings and landscaping initiatives. ©Sustrans/McAteer, 2024.

In evidence of its success, monitoring shows a marked increase in route usage following its delivery, as well as high ratings in on quality by those using the path.

Where can I read the report?

The Places for Everyone 2022-23 infrastructure impact summary report is available to download below.

An easy read version of the report is also available below.

The full Places for Everyone 2022-23 infrastructure impact report is available on request. Please contact Nigel.Donnell@Sustrans.org.uk or Jess.Acton@Sustrans.org.uk

Categories
News Pocket Places

Pupils and staff redesign routes into primary school 

A school pupil is shown jumping on a piece of outdoor equipment in the grounds of their primary school.
A school pupil plays with the newly-installed equipment outside Easter Carmuirs Primary School. Credit: Sustrans

A headteacher has welcomed the completion of a community-led project designed to make the routes into their primary school safer and more accessible. 

Pupils, staff and the wider community at Easter Carmuirs Primary School in Camelon worked in partnership with Sustrans Scotland, Falkirk Council and the Safer Community Youth Action Project to deliver Easter Carmuirs Pocket Places. 

This photo shows the widened pedestrian walkway and planters and places for sitting that have been added.
A wider pedestrian walkway, as well as planters and additional areas for sitting or playing are among the installations. Credit: Sustrans

Among the improvements are a wider pedestrian walkway and installation of ramps to allow step-free access to school entrances. 

The installations follow a collaborative process in which staff, pupils and parents/carers were asked to shape the project, ensuring that the final design meets the needs of those who use it the most. 

A group of pupils are shown playing on outdoor equipment in the grounds of their primary school.
Pupils have welcomed the installations. Credit: Sustrans

Shelagh Todd, Headteacher of Easter Carmuirs said:

“We’re thrilled with the redesign of the school grounds which has made the routes into school safer, more accessible and attractive. 

“Following our award from Sustrans in 2021 we carried out consultation with children, families, community partners and staff around what would work best for our young people to enable safe travel into school. Work began in June 2023 and was completed in March 2024 including a redesign of the car park and safe paths in to school, ensuring accessibility for all. 

“Everyone involved is extremely happy with the end result especially our pupils and their families.”

Headteacher Shelagh Todd
Part of the pedestrian walkway is shown. There is a colourful ground marking in the foreground.
The pedestrian walkway has been extended, now continuing to the entrance of the nursery. Credit: Sustrans

What’s new at Easter Carmuirs Primary?

  • The protected central pedestrian walkway outside the school has been widened, with planters and additional areas for sitting or playing installed.  
  • Creative ground markings by Bigg Design and Fun Makes Good add colour and interest. 
  • The path from the lower car park to the main school door has been widened to increase accessibility. 
  • A ramp has been installed, allowing step-free access to other school entrances. 
  • A further ramp has been put in place between the upper and lower car parks.
  • The pedestrian walkway has been extended, now continuing to the entrance of the nursery. 
  • The school’s two existing bike shelters have been repaired, with the addition of lockable doors to improve security. 
A school pupil is shown playing on a piece of outdoor equipment in the grounds of their primary school. Flowers in a planter are shown in the foreground.
Staff, pupils and the wider community worked together to deliver Easter Carmuirs Pocket Places. Credit: Sustrans

How was the project delivered?

The completion of Easter Carmuirs Pocket Places follows a successful application by the school and Our Place Camelon and Tamfourhill to Sustrans Scotland in 2021 for support through the Pocket Places Programme. The Safer Community Youth Action Project is a legacy of the Our Place project. 

Sustrans’ collaborative design process puts the people who use the space at the heart of designing solutions to local issues and the Pocket Places programme is an opportunity for local communities to shape their neighbourhood and take a lead in making their local area a better place to live. 

Throughout the process, the project partners invited pupils, staff, parents/carers and the local community to share their views and aspirations for the lanes at a series of engagement activities.

Six people representing the Easter Carmuirs Pocket Places project partners are shown standing by the newly-installed seating area in the grounds of a primary school.
Representatives of the project partners, from left, Serge Neumand, Project Manager, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, Sheila Muir, Parent Council Chair, Marion Eele, Project Lead, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, Shelagh Todd, Headteacher, Easter Carmuirs Primary School, Bryan Jardine, Transport Planning Officer, Falkirk Council and John Hosie, Youth & Community Development Worker, Safer Community Youth Action Project. Credit: Sustrans

John Hosie, Youth & Community Development Worker, Safer Community Youth Action Project, said: 

“The installation of the new traffic management measures, the safe seating and social spaces and the now-enhanced and inclusive active travel access around Easter Carmuirs Primary School have all contributed to the positive legacy of the Our Place Camelon & Tamfourhill Projects Community Safety Strategy. 

“I look forward to building on the partnership established with the school as the Safer Communities Youth Action Project supports and facilitates further community development projects and opportunities.”

Youth & Community Development Worker John Hosie
The creative ground markings by Bigg Design and Fun Makes Good are shown.
Creative ground markings by Bigg Design and Fun Makes Good are part of the improvements. Credit: Sustrans

Marion Eele, Project Lead, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, said:  

“We are delighted to see the completion of this exciting project, delivered in partnership with the Easter Carmuirs Primary School community, Falkirk Council and the Safer Community Youth Action Project 

“It has been especially pleasing to see the pupils enjoying the new spaces. 

“Working closely with people from across the school community has ensured that the installations meet the needs of those who use them most. 

“We hope these installations encourage more pupils to walk, wheel or cycle to and from school.”

Project Lead Marion Eele
A parent/carer and school pupil walk past planters in the grounds of their primary school.
Sustrans’ collaborative design process puts the people who use the space at the heart of designing solutions to local issues. Credit: Sustrans

Easter Carmuirs Pocket Places is supported by funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Pocket Places programme and delivered in partnership with the Safer Community Youth Action Project, Easter Carmuirs Primary School, and Falkirk Council.

Categories
News Pocket Places

Eliza Street in focus as Dundee community’s vision for the future revealed 

An image from the concept design, showing how Eliza Street could look.
An image from the concept design, showing how Eliza Street could look. Credit: Sustrans

Over a period of seven months, Stobswell Forum worked in partnership with Sustrans Scotland and Dundee City Council to understand what improvements residents, business owners, school pupils and community groups would like to make to Eliza Street. 

The result is a concept design which can now be taken forward to detailed design and construction stages by Dundee City Council. 

The concept design, which was revealed at an event in March 2024, is the latest stage of the ongoing regeneration of Stobswell, and builds on the project partners’ work in nearby streets, including the Craigie Street Pocket Park.

How was the concept design developed?

Using a collaborative design process, the local community were involved in each stage of the project; telling the project partners what they would like to see, developing ideas and giving feedback and suggestions on the draft concept design. 

Throughout a series of in-person engagement events and workshops and via online surveys, residents emphasised the importance of bringing colour and art to the area. 

Three artwork panels are shown on display outside of Stobswell Parish Church.
Local artists Cara Rooney and Lauren Morsley were commissioned to create art panels for Eliza Street. Credit: Graeme McKenzie

The project partners commissioned local artists Cara Rooney and Lauren Morsley to deliver workshops and create art panels for Eliza Street. Cara and Lauren facilitated workshops with Clepington Primary, Morgan Academy and Dundee International Woman’s Centre to get ideas and inspiration.

The purpose of the panels was to explore and celebrate the sense of place, the history and the people of Stobswell. The brilliant set of art panels have been manufactured and installed by Barry from Robertsign, and were revealed at an event in March.

What else is included in the concept design?

  • In response to the community’s call for more greenery, the design includes planting more trees as well as installing rain gardens, in keeping with other streets in Stobswell. 
  • Access to the street will be restricted by bollards to ensure only authorised vehicles can access the central public realm. 
  • It has been recommended that seating that has back and arm rests, as well as wheelchair and pushchair friendly picnic tables and hedges and shrubs by the seating area to provide a wind barrier, should be provided. 
  • Inspired by Langlands Street, a colourful and creative bin enclosure is proposed around the communal bins. This is in addition to the provision of more bins to reduce littering. 
  • Elsewhere, the design proposes that cobbles are reused to complement the heritage of the area, and that two shuffle pole lighting columns be installed to improve the lighting on the street. 

What happens next?

Now that the concept design has been revealed, the next stage of the Eliza Street project will be undertaken by Dundee City Council. The detailed design stage builds on the concept design by developing the designs to a technical level, ensuring the project can be built safely and effectively. 

The delivery of future stages is dependent on funding.

Six people are shown in front of art panels on display outside Stobswell Parish Church.
Colleagues from Sustrans and Dundee City Council joined artists Cara Rooney and Lauren Morsley at the launch event. Credit: Graeme McKenzie

Chair of Stobswell Forum Colin Clement welcomed the concept design and said: 

“Everyone at the Forum is really excited to reach the end of the first part of the project which has seen so many positive conversations around the future of Eliza Street. 

“It’s clear that the local people as well as visitors and shoppers want to see a bright and welcoming public space in the heart of the Albert Street shopping area.”

Stobswell Forum Chair Colin Clement

Mollie McCulloch, Community Engagement and Behaviour Change Officer, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, added:

“We are pleased to complete the concept design stage of this project, working in partnership with the local community, Stobswell Forum and Dundee City Council to develop the community’s ideas and make Eliza Street a more attractive and exciting place to spend time in. 

“The need to bring more colour to the area came up continually in our conversations with residents, and we’re thrilled that local artists Cara Rooney and Lauren Morsley were able to create art panels that celebrate Stobswell as a place, as well as the people who call it home. 

“We look forward to seeing the community’s vision for Eliza Street become a reality.”

Mollie McCulloch, Sustrans Scotland

Councillor Steven Rome is Fair Work, Economic Growth and Infrastructure convener at Dundee City Council. Cllr Rome said:

“I am delighted that people living locally have played an important role in the development of this pocket park. 

“Their views have helped to shape the final designs and local artists are creating artwork which will brighten the area up. 

“The Eliza Street project is just the latest example of how communities can get involved in transforming their area.”

Cllr Steven Rome, Dundee City Council

Eliza Street Pocket Places is supported by funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Pocket Places programme, Dundee City Council’s Maryfield Community Regeneration Fund and District Centre Fund.

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

Construction starts on new multi-million pound accessible path network in Arbroath

On Wednesday 3rd April, construction officially began on the landmark Arbroath A Place for Everyone project.

The £14m project, £10.7m of which has been awarded through Sustrans Scotland’s Scottish Government-backed Places for Everyone programme, is set to deliver a transformative network of all new walking, wheeling and cycling routes throughout the town.

This aims to neatly link up key travel destinations, such as shopping areas and schools, as well as popular tourist sites.

The project will also conveniently tie with National Cycle Network Route 1, which runs along the seafront from Dundee and up to Aberdeen, further cementing links between settlements along the coast.

Backed by extensive engagement with the local community, the emerging work is expected to help foster the conditions for a significant boost to the local economy via increased footfall to businesses and an uptick in tourism to the seafront.

Once completed, it is hoped by many that the project will serve as the backbone for future active travel initiatives in the area.

History in the making

Designs for Guthrie Port include tree and wildflower planting as well as public seating areas. Angus Council ©2023

The delivery of the Arbroath project has been hotly anticipated by many for some time, with early community consultation dating back to 2015.

Financial support was initially received in 2019 via Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, which at the time made Arbroath the first town in Scotland to receive such a high level of funding through the Scottish government-backed scheme.

Years of careful design and planning work, informed by and acting on feedback from the local community, were then carried out between the partnership of Sustrans, Angus Council, and Arcadis.

Following this process, proposals are now being taken forward to create:

  • A new 1.5km, segregated cycleway alongside the A92 dual carriageway from the West Links area of the town to Arbroath Abbey, with a link-in to Brockthock Bridge. 
  • Redesigned junctions and crossings, making it safer and easier to walk, wheel and cycle. 
  • As well as new seating and landscapes, improving the accessibility of public spaces and encourage safer walking, wheeling and cycling options throughout the town
The junction at Brockock Bridge includes a new bidirectional cycleway with strategic crossings. Angus Council ©2023

Current traffic levels showed that large parts of the project could be achieved by repurposing parts of the A92 dual carriageway, which has long created a sense of division across Arbroath.

Working in tandem with the local community, the proposed designs were gradually enhanced, including the introduction of temporary trial measures in 2021 to help those living and working in the town get a feel for the project.

Celebrating strong partnership

Despite a persistent downpour outside the Signal Tower Museum, the first spade was determinedly dug in by Angus Council Leader Cllr Beth Whiteside.

Carole Patrick, Portfolio Director for Sustrans, was witness to the big moment.

“We’re overjoyed to see construction starting on this fantastic project. By delivering new cycle lanes, tree and wildflower planting, as well as paved seating areas in the town, people living and working in Arbroath will be able to walk, wheel and cycle safely, whilst also enjoying a more relaxed and attractive environment.”

Carole Patrick, Portfolio Director, Sustrans

Both were joined by Active Travel Spokesperson Cllr Serena Cowdy, as well as Contracts Manager for Balfour Beatty Keith McDonald and Project Manager for Balfour Beatty Tom Truesdale.

“Today’s milestone marks several years of consultation, planning and effort to create and see come to fruition, an ambitious project that will make Arbroath a more desirable place to live in, work in and to visit.”

Councillor Serena Cowdy, Active Travel Spokesperson, Angus Council

There’s a great deal to look forward to over the next year as the project truly starts to take shape, with construction the project is set to be complete by the end of 2025.


Categories
News Pocket Places

Community leads redesign of historic lanes in centre of Wick

Two children look at a decorative metal barrier featuring phrases in the Caithness dialect. The barrier has replaced two existing barriers in order to improve accessibility for people using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and with buggies. Credit: Sustrans
Two children look at a decorative metal barrier featuring phrases in the Caithness dialect. The barrier has replaced two existing barriers in order to improve accessibility for people using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and with buggies. Credit: Sustrans

A community has celebrated the installation of a series of durable, long-lasting interventions in their local area.  

Among these are five brand-new artworks inspired by Wick’s rich heritage as well as the installation of benches and planters and removal of barriers to increase accessibility and enable more people to stop and enjoy the area. 

Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and The Highland Council successfully applied for Sustrans Scotland’s Pocket Places Programme funding to redesign some of the lanes leading to Wick High Street to make them feel safer, easier to navigate, and a better celebration of Wick’s unique heritage.

A Sustrans colleague discusses the Wick Lanes Pocket Places designs with residents at an event to mark completion of the project. Credit: Sustrans
A Sustrans colleague discusses the Wick Lanes Pocket Places designs with residents at an event to mark completion of the project. Credit: Sustrans

Artworks bring area to life

Sustrans’ collaborative design process puts the people who use the space at the heart of designing solutions to local issues. Throughout the process, the project partners invited local residents, schools, groups and business owners to share their views and aspirations for the lanes at a series of engagement activities to ensure that the design meets the needs of those who use it the most. 

In response to suggestions during early community engagement for heritage-inspired public artworks in the lanes, the project partners collaborated with Wick Society and commissioned local artists Hannah Cambridge and Aimee Lockwood to create five new artworks inspired by the town’s history and heritage. The artists conducted workshops to gather input from the community and local schools on specific elements from the Johnston Collection, held in trust by The Wick Society, and Wick’s built heritage. 

Artworks in focus

Informed by this community collaboration, the artists translated these elements into exciting designs which are now on display. The artworks have been plasma-cut from weathering steel, a robust and long-lasting material that will stand as lasting testament to Wick’s rich heritage and long history.  

Also known as COR-TEN steel, this architectural steel alloy is engineered to provide its own protection from the elements with an innovative formulation that weathers on the outside while the overall structure is protected. This layer of oxidation will age over the years for a distinctive look. 

Aimee Lockwood's artwork celebrates the fountain by the riverside and has been installed on Wares Lane. Credit: Sustrans
Aimee Lockwood’s artwork celebrates the fountain by the riverside and has been installed on Wares Lane where it joins Bridge Street. Credit: Sustrans

Installed on Wares Lane, this artwork by Aimee Lockwood celebrates the fountain by the riverside. Aimee said: “The fountain by the riverside was commissioned by the Wares family, who were tailors based on Wares Lane, so I liked the connection there! 

“The riverside felt like a good place to showcase young people playing as it’s where the playpark is today, and I’ve included some natural elements because the wildlife is the star of the show in Caithness.”

This work by Hannah Cambridge has been installed on Wares Lane where it joins with Bridge Street.
This work by Hannah Cambridge has been installed on Wares Lane where it joins with Bridge Street.

Also installed on Wares Lane is a work by Hannah Cambridge and inspired by the traditional Herring Queen celebration. Hannah explained: “The celebration attracted up to 8,000 spectators in its heyday, was initiated in 1937 by a committee in Wick, aiming to lift spirits during a period of poor fishing. 

“The Queen, chosen from those with herring industry ties, was crowned at Braehead and embarked upon a procession through the town and out to sea. The copper crown, symbolising Wick’s maritime history, featured the Ensign Armorial of Wick. After a hiatus from 1939 to 1949, the tradition continued until 1953, coinciding with the decline of herring fishing. The event evolved into the Gala Queen, a July procession that continues to this day.”

Elsewere on Wares Lane, decorative panels inspired by local knitting traditions will be installed to help improve refuse storage for local businesses.

Market Lane is now home to two works by local artist Aimee Lockwood. Credit: Sustrans
Market Lane is now home to two works by local artist Aimee Lockwood. Credit: Sustrans

Two brand-new works by Aimee Lockwood have been installed on Market Lane where it joins with Market Square. The first makes a visual connection to the Alexander Bain pub.  

Aimee explained: “The Alexander Bain pub was a post and telegram office so I’ve focused on that, with the bicycle messengers and including visual nods to the postal service and telegraph wires. I’ve also included some clocks and watchmaking imagery to reference Alexander Bain’s work as an inventor, as well as the watchmakers who used to work in the area.”  

On the other artwork installed on Market Lane, Aimee said: “I wanted this one to be all about fun, so I’ve centred the playful leaping man and included some of the other entertaining characters from the Johnston Collection (there are so many photos of people dressed as clowns!) 

“I also wanted to nod to the barrel and rope making industries (next to the pub feels fitting for the barrels) and included some seaweed for a bit of natural texture.” 

Inspired by the ocean and its impact on the culture and people of Wick, this original artwork is by Hannah Cambridge. Credit: Hannah Cambridge
Inspired by the ocean and its impact on the culture and people of Wick, this original artwork is by Hannah Cambridge. Credit: Hannah Cambridge

This original artwork by Hannah Cambridge has been installed at the bottom of Market Lane on Market Street.  

Hannah said: “Inspired by the ocean and its impact on the culture and people of Wick, this work weaves together coastal landmarks, natural elements (the Northern Lights, the night sky, local wildlife, sea foam, and sunlight filtering through clouds), nods to traditional trades such as barrel and rope making, and the enduring legacy of the herring trade.” 

Two people walk by the decorative metal barrier featuring phrases in the Caithness dialect, which has been installed on John Street. Credit: Sustrans
Two people walk by the decorative metal barrier featuring phrases in the Caithness dialect, which has been installed on John Street. Credit: Sustrans

Also on John Street, the existing metal barriers have been removed and replaced with a decorative metal barrier featuring phrases in the Caithness dialect to improve accessibility for people using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and with buggies. 

On Tolbooth Lane, a bench has been installed to provide a place for people to stop and and rest on the way up the hill.

How was the project delivered?

Wick Lanes Pocket Places began with a Co-Discover event in August 2023. The project partners worked with schools, groups and the wider community in Wick to identify barriers and opportunities to feed into design ideas for the lanes. People could share their ideas by completing a survey and/or joining an event. 

Then, in November 2023, during the Co-Design phase and after analysing all the feedback we collected in the Co-Discover phase, the project partners brought this all together in a series of design ideas for the lanes. In November, these designs were brought back to the community and local access groups to see what worked and what needed to be changed. At this point, the community was invited to take part in workshops with the Wick Society and artists Hannah Cambridge and Aimee Lockwood to collaboratively create the heritage-themed artworks. 

The brand-new artworks, as well as the final designs for the lanes were shown to the community in January 2024. And in March 2024, during the Co-Deliver phase, the project was installed and the community invited to an event to celebrate its conclusion.  

Pictured with Hannah Cambridge’s artwork are, l-r, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Councillors Joanna Coghill and Allan Farquhar, Marion Eele, Project Lead, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, artist Hannah Cambridge and Thomas Parkin, Senior Urban Designer, Sustrans. Credit: Sustrans
Pictured with Hannah Cambridge’s artwork are, l-r, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Councillors Joanna Coghill and Allan Farquhar, Marion Eele, Project Lead, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland, artist Hannah Cambridge and Thomas Parkin, Senior Urban Designer, Sustrans. Credit: Sustrans

Marion Eele, Project Lead, Co-Design, Sustrans Scotland:

“We are thrilled to see work complete on this exciting project delivered in partnership with the local community, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and The Highland Council. 

“From the beginning of this project, the community told us they wanted to make the lanes feel safer, more inviting and accessible, as well as to see their heritage and historic character strengthened. 

“The changes brought about by the local community will enable residents and visitors to the area to enjoy calm and vibrant spaces while celebrating the town’s rich heritage.

“Seeing the interventions come to life highlights the value of putting people at the heart of decisions on their local spaces.”

Project Lead Marion Eele

Cllr Richard Bremner, Highland Council Leader and Wick Ward Councillor

“This initiative is a small project that will help brighten the lane areas of the town. The funding for this is ring-fenced and, as such, will go to areas that bid to secure it. If we don’t bid, it will go somewhere else. It’s nice to see this project completed. Local folks were engaged from the start, engaging people who live and run businesses in Wick at the heart of the design-process.  

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved, from coming to the first concept meetings, to taking part in the series of interactive workshops and consultation events. Their input has been key in the whole design process.

“The historic centre of our town will be made a more inviting and appealing place in a small way. It will improve the historic and heritage character of the lanes.” 

Highland Council Leader and Wick Ward Councillor Richard Bremner

Allan Farquhar, Chair, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council:

“Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council are delighted to partner with Highland Council and Sustrans in this initiative which will provide a starting point for the regeneration of our town centre. 

“A phased transformation of the Lanes with anticipated spin off to other areas utilising street furniture, artworks and lighting designs sympathetic to our rich heritage and culture complement other development initiatives currently in planning stages by both Highland Council and local community groups.”

Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council Chair Allan Farquhar

Wick Lanes Pocket Places is supported by funding from the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s Pocket Places programme and delivered in partnership with The Highland Council and Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council. 

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New multi-million pound cycling route in Edinburgh city centre officially open

On Wednesday 20th March, members of the local community and key delivery partners turned out in number to commemorate the close of construction on the CCWEL project in Edinburgh.

Stretching from Roseburn to Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End, CCWEL provides a safe and direct segregated route through the heart of the city centre, as well as significantly enhancing streets for those walking, wheeling and spending time there.

Local primary school pupils took part in a group ride from Old Colt Bridge to Haymarket to test out the route, arriving at Haymarket in time to take part in the festivities.

Music to welcome the group ride was performed by St Mary’s Music School pupils and a range of fun activities, including cargo bike trials, were on offer for all those who attended.

Shortly after lunchtime, a ribbon to mark the official opening of the route was cut to usher the new city centre route into being.

Setting the standard

Segregated cycleways, resurfaced footways, and improved crossings are key features of the new CCWEL route. City of Edinburgh Council ©2024

Following an extensive consultation process beginning in 2016, the input of residents and local businesses helped shape the designs put forward by Sustrans and Edinburgh City Council, and construction got firmly underway on CCWEL in early 2022.

With works carried out by Balfour Beatty, CCWEL has set a benchmark for how safe and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling can be delivered amongst within bustling urban centre such as Edinburgh. The first of its kind to be complete in Scotland, CCWEL delivers a 3.6km bidirectional cycle route to better connect Roseburn with Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End.

For the vast majority of the journey, cyclists are protected from heavy traffic flows through a segregated design, meaning vulnerable and less confident cyclists will be able to use the new paths in safety and ease.

CCWEL hasn’t just delivered new routes for cyclists, however. Improved crossings, footways, and street surfacing have also been introduced as part of the scheme, as well as street greening initiatives and additional seating areas for people to relax and enjoy.

The opening comes just a day after the launch of the 2023 Walking and Cycling Index report in the capital, which includes amongst its findings that almost 50% of residents in Edinburgh want to walk, wheel and cycle more.

An historic occasion

A group ride was completed from Roseburn to Haymarket by local primary school pupils to inaugurate the new route. City of Edinburgh Council ©2024

Karen McGregor, Scotland Director for Sustrans, was delighted to see the new route completed.

“The City Centre West to East Link is an absolute game-changer within the world of active travel. For the first time ever in Scotland, we’ve delivered a fully segregated walking, wheeling and cycling connection that cuts through the heart of a major city centre. In doing so, this fantastic new route gives the people of Edinburgh a safe and accessible driving alternative, allowing people to get to where they want, how they want, regardless of age or ability.”

Karen McGregor, Scotland Director, Sustrans

Councillor Scott Arthur, who joined the group ride from Roseburn to Haymarket, said:

“Today we celebrated a major development for walking, wheeling and cycling in the Capital, with the completion of CCWEL. This major scheme is not only one of the largest pieces of active travel infrastructure delivered in Edinburgh, but it has transformed spaces along the route for the use and enjoyment of people who live, visit and work here.”

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, City of Edinburgh Council

In total, £23m was invested in the design and construction of the CCWEL route.

Of this, £14.8m was awarded from Transport Scotland through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, with the additional funding from the Scottish Government and the Council’s transport budget.

Going forward, CCWEL will link up with the George Street and First New Town and Meadows to George Street project, which aim to deliver improved walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure across the Edinburgh city centre and enhance high-traffic public spaces for generations to come.

The project also neatly connects with the Roseburn to Union Canal project, which is set to finish construction in Summer 2024.

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Work begins to link up communities in East Renfrewshire

New year, new walking wheeling and cycling links

On 12 January 2024, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction on the ambitious £22.68 million project to upgrade and improve Aurs Road in East Renfrewshire.

The project will not only create a safer, more direct local route between Barrhead and Newton Mearns by straightening out the carriageway and replacing a weak road bridge, it will also open up all new possibilities for walking, wheeling and cycling.

£8.19 million of funding provided by Places for Everyone will deliver a new 2km active travel route between the two adjacent communities, as well as an impressive 700m waterside promenade overlooking Balgray Reservoir.

As a result of the project, residents and visitors will now be able to make safer, healthier and more sustainable everyday journeys between Barrhead and Newton Mearns.

The new waterside promenade also offers the communities an accessible space to relax or meet up with friends and family.

Further plans as part of the wider Aurs Road project include a new 4km circular route around the perimeter of Balgray Reservoir, providing unprecedented access to Dams and Darnley Country Park.

Once complete, a new accessible waterside promenade will offer people a place to relax, socialise and enjoy the scenery of Balgray Reservoir. Credit: East Renfrewshire Council

Making connections outside of the city

Often, outside of our city and town centres, a lack of safe and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure and patchy public transport links can leave communities feeling disconnected.

For households without access to a car, it also means that reaching essential, everyday destinations like their places of work, shops or health services can be difficult.

We’ve already seen the value that new walking, wheeling and cycling connections can deliver to smaller communities through Places for Everyone projects like the  completed in partnership with Scottish Borders Council in 2023.

The Balgray Active Travel Links project is another clear example of how Local Authority ambition can boost independence and choice in how communities get around, whilst also forging new links and connections.

With a combined population of almost 50,000 people, the potential impact on local travel habits throughout Barrhead and Newton Mearns can’t be overstated.

The project aims to transform journeys between Barrhead and Newton Mearns by straightening Aurs Road and building a new walking, wheeling and cycling route alongside Balgray Reservoir. Credit: East Renfrewshire Council

Partnered in community celebration

In truly frosty conditions, representatives of the project delivery teams gathered alongside Aurs Road to formally inaugurate the construction.

Karen McGregor, Scotland Director for Sustrans, shared her thoughts:

“Improving active travel links between communities outside of our cities is vital.”

“This project does exactly that by delivering an accessible and direct walking, wheeling and cycling link between Barrhead and Newton Mearns for residents and visitors alike.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to see work now starting on this project and grateful to all those who have taken part in making it a success.”

Karen McGregor, Scotland Director, Sustrans

East Renfrewshire Council Leader Owen O’Donnell added:

“Since announcing our plans for transforming Aurs Road, we’ve had a fantastic response from residents who are excited about the delivery of a much needed improved and straightened road with active travel link.”

Owen O’Donnell, Leader, East Renfrewshire Council

Signed diversion routes are in place via Stewarton Road, Nitshill Road and Darnley Road.

Funding for the wider £22.68 million Aurs Road project was received from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, made up of funding from the UK and Scottish Government and East Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government’s Bridge Fund, and developer contributions from new house building projects in the area.

£8.19 million was received for the Balgray Active Travel Links project through the Places for Everyone fund, which is backed by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans.

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Key updates for Places for Everyone community group partners

Future of the fund

Increasing the pace and scale of delivery of active travel infrastructure across Scotland has brought about a major period of transition for both Sustrans and Places for Everyone.

As previously communicated in November 2023, only Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and National Parks are currently eligible to apply for new Concept (Stages 0-2) funding awards. Existing community groups can still apply for Design (Stages 3-4) funding if they have completed stage 2, applications for which will reopen on 20th March 2024.

Further to this, as Places for Everyone develops greater alignment with Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Infrastructure Fund (ATIF), the Places for Everyone programme will be drawing to a close by December 2025.

Whilst we recognise this will be disappointing, in order to ensure that existing community-led group projects are able to reach key milestones and successfully deliver through to construction, we want to identify and support all projects with your routes to delivery, supporting or facilitating discussions with relevant third parties where appropriate.

Routes to delivery

In the financial year 2024-25 Sustrans will continue to fund and manage Concept (Stages 0-2) to Design (Stages 3-4) stages. Projects with existing awards will continue until the end of your current legal agreement, end of stage where you are able to apply for this and secure a funding award, or until September 2025.

Existing community groups and organisations other than Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and National Park Authorities will be eligible to request new Construction (stages 5-7) funding via Places for Everyone during 2024/25 provided delivery can be complete by September 2025. Construction (stages 5-7) funding decisions will be made on the basis of yet to be scheduled Extraordinary Decision Making Panels.

Actions for community groups

If your project is working towards completion of Design (Stage 4) with a view to requesting Construction (Stages -5-7) funding, please discuss this with your Grant Advisor and submit an outline request expressing interest for Construction (Stages 5-7) funding indicating the timing and amount by email to PlacesForEveryone@Sustrans.org.uk.

Please also ensure to confirm when you expect to submit your final Design (Stage 4) deliverables for review so we can identify your route to delivery and anticipate funding demands and the timing of this. Requests for Construction (Stages 5-7) funding will need to demonstrate assured completion by September 2025. Construction (Stages 5-7) requests are required by deadline of 29th April 2024.

We want to thank our community group partners during this uncertain period, and to reiterate that the Places for Everyone team remains able to support projects that can complete design stages or construction by September 2025. Community-led projects occupy a unique and vital role within the active travel delivery landscape. We encourage community group partners to continue working with local authorities to discuss your route to delivery to see your ambitions progressed. 

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Engage • Inspire • Learn News PfE

Coming up: Designing and Implementing Behaviour Change Plans

Overview

Presented by Sustrans Scotland, through the Engage Inspire Learn training and events programme, we invite you to join us as we explore how to design and implement behaviour change plans in order to increase the use of new and existing active travel infrastructure.

We will bring together Places for Everyone, Co-Design and National Cycle Network partners and active travel professionals from across Scotland for a full day of learning and sharing relevant example.

Why attend?

This workshop aims to:

  • Expand your knowledge and awareness of behaviour change;
  • Explain the role that social marketing can play;
  • Demonstrate how you can create and implement social marketing orientated behaviour change plans;
  • Encourage knowledge sharing and best practices;
  • Provide a platform for you to ask questions and take part in discussions;
  • Provide a platform for you to network and engage in facilitated networking opportunities;
  • Inspire you to apply learnings to your own projects.