Funding to enable walking, wheeling and cycling during the pandemic
Spaces for People is a temporary infrastructure programme which offered funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland, the programme to enabled statutory bodies to introduce measures focused on protecting public health, supporting physical distancing and a reduction of virus transmission.
Walking, wheeling or cycling in fresh air is not only positive for physical and metal health, but also helps people feel connected in times of isolation, and can allow communities discover their neighbourhood.
As of July 2020, all Spaces for People funding was allocated. Local authorities and statutory bodies are expected to have held funding for maintenance, removal of measures or to make measures permanent.
Why is Spaces for People important for health and wellbeing?
A briefing prepared for Sustrans by Ali MacDonald, Organisational Lead for Active, Healthy Environments, Public Health Scotland
Spaces for People Design Guidance
Guidance to support partners with the implementation of temporary active travel facilities through Spaces for People
A total of £38 million was distributed to local authorities, NHS Trusts and regional transport partnerships in 2020, along with additional support from our engineers, designers and support staff as requested. A full list of bodies which have received Spaces for People funding can be found below. Sustrans is continuing to support delivery of additional measures across Scotland until May 2021.
Some local authorities have identified individual measures which they believe provide a high net benefit to the local community, and have requested guidance on how temporary projects can be made permanent. Working with Transport Scotland, we have created the guidance document A Route Map To Permanence. This outlines the considerations needed where there is ambition to turn Spaces for People measures into permanent infrastructure, including public consultations, statutory requirements and upgrade of temporary or semi-permanent measures to ensure longevity.
If you have feedback on a specific Spaces for People measure or wish to see a measure considered for permanence, please contact your local authority, transport board or NHS trust directly.
Updates on Spaces for People knowledge sharing events highlighting best engagement and delivery practices and engaging discussions with Scottish local authorities.
Examples from local authorities
Primary examples of local authority Spaces For People projects, highlighting the most informative cases of temporary infrastructure delivery.
|Lead Organisation||Award Amount|
|Glasgow City Council||£7,100,000|
|City of Edinburgh Council||£5,000,000|
|Dundee City Council||£2,460,000|
|The Highland Council||£1,968,560|
|Aberdeen City Council||£1,760,000|
|East Lothian Council||£1,400,000|
|Perth and Kinross Council||£1,353,000|
|South Lanarkshire Council||£1,200,000|
|Scottish Borders Council||£1,200,000|
|North Lanarkshire Council||£1,066,978|
|East Renfrewshire Council||£1,030,000|
|Argyll & Bute Council||£915,000|
|West Dunbartonshire Council||£720,000|
|West Lothian Council||£641,500|
|Dumfries and Galloway Council||£595,000|
|East Ayrshire Council||£555,000|
|South Ayrshire Council||£510,000|
|North Ayrshire Council||£400,000|
|Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||£128,850|
All Spaces for People applications were assessed against the following criteria:
Protecting public health
Projects should provide temporary walking and cycling infrastructure that helps to protect public health by enabling safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise for everyone, in particular where there are space constraints or user safety concerns.
Projects should focus on essential journeys including:
- Journeys to and from hospitals and health services.
- Journeys to shops, pharmacies and schools for key workers.
- Journeys for recommended exercise, for example neighbourhoods and local parks.
Projects should be delivered quickly and provide a visible improvement that has an immediate benefit.