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Opening the Loch Indaal Way

An opening event was held in October 2021, attended by local children from Port Charlotte Primary School with music provided by the Islay Pipe Band. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

The Loch Indaal Way joins the communities of Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich via a safe, accessible and traffic-free route.

Prior to this, the sole existing link between the two communities was a section of the A847 carriageway, a national speed limit road which offers little protection to those walking wheeling and cycling on the island.

The newly completed off-road route has already proved popular with local residents and business owners, with its frequency of use expected to greatly increase when the tourist season returns.

Making waves in rural design

The Loch Indaal Way provides 2.53km of traffic-free route between the Islay communities of Bruchladdich and Port Charlotte. Credit: ©2021, Lisa Irvine/Sustrans, all rights reserved.

The Loch Indaal Way project was spearheaded by the Islay Community Access Group (ICAG), a local network of volunteers with a vision to increase health and wellbeing through greater outdoor accessibility.

Patrick McGrann, Head of the ICAG, said:

“ICAG, a small voluntary group, worked for 6 years to deliver the Loch Indaal Way. We are extremely proud of our new community asset .To see local folk and visitors of all ages and abilities enjoying access to the countryside is heart warming. We have involved our community throughout and all have ownership and satisfaction of a job well done.”

Pat McGrann, Head, Islay Community Access Group

With the support of Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, ICAG secured the a large part of the funding to deliver the 2.53km off-road active travel route.

Sustrans and ICAG previously worked together to deliver the lauded Three Distilleries Path at Port Ellen, a popular 5km active travel route which takes in the Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg distilleries.

Emily Gait, Infrastructure Coordinator for Sustrans, said:

“The Loch Indaal Way is a great example of where a community have worked together to create a project which meets the needs of the people who live and visit the area. Inclusive designs and strong community backing have been key to the ultimate success of this project.

Going forward, we hope this inspires other small communities across Scotland to nurture their own walking, wheeling and cycling ambitions.”

Emily Gait, Infrastructure Coordinator, Sustrans

Key features of the route include three upgraded and newly created crossings, as well as landscaping and placemaking initiatives such as the provision of comfortable seating areas and shrubbery sections.

Smooth gradients and minimal placement of steps also maximise accessibility for users with limited mobility.

Change through community

New and upgraded crossings, minimal steps and barriers, as well as added seating areas and landscaping initiatives were fundamental to the designs. Credit: ©2021, Lisa Irvine/Sustrans, all rights reserved.

The proposals to create a new off-road walking, wheeling and cycling route between Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich received popular community support from the outset.

Through an proactive and considered period of engagement, ICAG worked closely with local landowners to secure necessary land donations to make the path a reality.

The local Bruichladdich Distillery also became involved in the promotion and funding behind the project, even entering into a maintenance agreement with ICAG to ensure to path stays fit for purpose.

AJ Cunningham, Operations Manager at Bruichladdich Distillery, said:

“Even before the path was finalised, it was being adopted by a lot of locals. I don’t think this was out of them being inquisitive, either. It’s just a really enjoyable and risk-free way to walk where they didn’t have that option before.

I don’t think it could’ve worked out any better unless you took it all the way out to Bridgend!”.

AJ Cunningham, Operations Manager, Bruichladdich Distillery

Evident local enthusiasm for project only further increased as construction got well underway against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

A safer, healthier future

An opening event for the Loch Indaal Way took place in October 2021, featuring attendees from Port Charlotte Primary School and the Islay Pipe Band. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

At an opening event in October of last year, children from Port Charlotte Primary School led a procession along the Loch Indaal Way from the Port Ban war memorial to Bruichladdich Town Hall.

They were joined on-route by local residents, members of ICAG and the local Baptist Minister, as well as the musical stylings of the Islay Pipe Band.

After passing several renowned destinations, including the Bruichladdich Distillery, the event culminated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting, which officially opened the route for all users to enjoy.

Children from Port Charlotte Primary School have provided artworks depicting key attractions along the route, including St. Kiaran’s Church and Loch Idaal House lighthouse. Credit: ©2021, Islay Community Access Group, all rights reserved.

Six months on, and The Loch Indaal Way is now an indispensable part of daily life on Islay.

A local group of swimmers use the path for convenient access to the beach as part of weekly meet-ups.

Attendees of St Kiaran’s Church hold fortnightly walks along the path.

A recently installed cycle repair station has also been well received by the community, ensuring daily errands, active commutes and leisure trips are able to continue with minimal disruption.

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How have towns and cities been making walking and cycling safer travel during coronavirus?

Two cyclists working in Milan, on March 31, 2020. Piero Cruciatti / AFP.

Cities all over the world have come up with a number of ways to promote physical distancing  during Coronavirus.

Changes, such as pavement widening, pop-up cycle lanes and floating bus stops have made it easier for people to exercise and carry out essential journeys safely.

Whilst schemes such as wider provisions for 20mph zones and pedestrian-prioritised streets, have addressed the change in people’s attitudes and behaviour around travel during the pandemic.

Below is a selection of examples of some of the temporary measures taken by towns and cities worldwide. And while the majority of these measures are intended only to be temporary, there are hopes that communities will see the long-term benefit and move towards making them permanent.

Widened Cycle Lanes, Berlin

Temporary bike lanes in Berlin, which have been widened to enable cyclists to keep further apart. Photo by Annegret Hilse/Reuters

New and widened temporary cycle lanes have been created using removable tape, spray paint and mobile signs across Berlin.

A successful pilot of the scheme in the Kreuzberg district at the end of March demonstrated the measures could improve cycling safety without hindering the flow of traffic.

The lanes allow essential workers a safer and quicker daily commute, whilst helping to make rail and underground networks less crowded.

Applications for similar pop-up cycle lanes to be constructed, on behalf of local residents, have been received by 133 other German cities.

Find out more here

Opening Streets, Milan

Like many towns and cities, Milan has seen a dramatic reduction in the use of public transportation. Photo by Andrea Mantavani/The New York Times

Starting with Corso Buenos Aires, one of Milan’s busiest shopping streets, a number of spaces in the city will be reallocated away from motor vehicles to be used by pedestrians and cyclists.

The ambitious plan, the Strade Aperte project, introduced 22 miles of low-cost cycle lanes, new and widened pavements, 20mph speed limit zones, as well as pedestrian priority streets.

Work is set to begin at the start of May and continue over the course of the summer.

Find out more here

Active Travel Fund, Auckland

Widened footpaths make Auckland streets more people-centric. Photo by Greater Auckland

Pavements and cycle lanes are set to be widened throughout Aukland as a tactical urbanism  initiative.

Footpath extensions would use basic materials like planter boxes and colourful paint and wider pavement will come at the expense of existing parking spaces.

17km of temporary cycle lanes will also be created through the reallocation of road space usually reserved for motor traffic.

This follows the announcement of a newly available emergency ‘Streets for People’ fund by the New Zealand government in support of urban active travel projects.

Councils will be able to receive 90% funding for successful project applications to implement in their districts.

New Zealand is the first county to implement such a scheme.

Find out more here

Bus Network for Bikes, Bogota

Crowds gathered at a TransMilenio bus stop prior to coronavirus. Photo source unknown

In an attempt to reduce both congestion and overcrowding on public transport, the Columbian capital has designated 47 new miles of temporary cycle lanes to its residents.

This is in addition to the 340 miles of paved roads already made available to cyclists throughout the city.

Operating between 6.00am and 7.30pm each day, the cone-demarcated lanes are staffed by police and government officials to provide safety assistance and control measures at intersections for users.

The new cycling network has been designed to mirror the bustling TransMilenio city bus routes, providing people with a safer but still familiar commute.

As the first major city to introduce such widespread infrastructure changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bogota has been able to serve as a pioneering model for other cities to emulate.

Find out more here

Repurposing Parking Spaces, Dublin

Traffic cones and signage placed by locals declaring a “temporary footpath” on Manor Street. Photo by The Irish Times

After local residents began widening pavements through the use of traffic cones, Dublin City Council announced a host of infrastructure changes to assist with physical distancing.

Loading bays and parking spaces are currently being repurposed throughout the city in order to provide extra space to pedestrians.

A counter flow cycle lane has also been implemented on Nassau Street, in the heart of the city centre. This is expected to be vital for allowing essential workers a safe commute.

Find out more here

Corona Cycleways, Paris

A cyclist rides in the empty streets of the Champs Elysees in Paris following lockdown in France. Photo by EPE-EFE

650km of new post-lockdown cycle routes, colloquially called ‘Corona cycleways’, are set to be introduced on May 11th.

This is being done to address fears of severe congestion on the roads following the easing of lockdown measures, as commuters attempt to avoid the close quarters of public transport.

Nine permanent segregated cycle lanes will be installed in total, linking up 30 separate Parisian districts.

In addition to this, 72% of the parking spaces are to be temporarily removed and many of the city’s boulevards will be converted into pop-up cycle lanes. 

The project sees an acceleration of Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo’s, “Plan Vélo”, which aimed to triple bike journeys in the capital by 2024 through new on-street infrastructure.

€300 million is to be made available by the Ile-de-France region, covering 60% of the total cost. The remaining shortfall will be provided by local councils and the national bicycle fund.

Find out more here

Slow Streets, Oakland

Local residents have added a personal touch to road closures signs on Brookdale Avenue. Photo by David Campbell/Twitter

A ‘Slow Streets’ programme has seen 74 miles of road closed to motor traffic in Oakland.

This has been done in order to give residents additional space to exercise, whilst also reducing the congestion that has been experienced in local parks.

Due to the ‘soft closure’ nature of the measures, which relies on the voluntary compliance of drivers, emergency vehicles are still permitted to pass beyond the barriers.

Compliance with the scheme has been particularly enhanced through the involvement of neighbourhood and volunteer groups adding crafted signs and personal effects to barriers in order to deter those from ignoring the closures.

Discussions are already taking place, in Oakland and elsewhere in the region, about how these community-driven measures could be used to shape the future of urban landscape design through, for example, weekend closures or modified block parties.

Find out more here

Linking up, Lima

Wide footpaths in one of Lima’s largest parks, Bosque del Olivar. Photo by Checo890/WikiCommons

The Peruvian government is dramatically boosting the cycling infrastructure in its capital, Lima, in an attempt to curb the city’s heavy reliance on public transport during coronavirus.

The ambitious project, ‘Pedal against the Pandemic’, will attempt to implement the five years’ worth of cycling infrastructure plans in only three months.

The project will be implemented in two phases.

301 kilometres of temporary emergency bike lanes will initially be installed to link up more than 70 existing cycle lanes in Lima, with an aim to making these permanent routes post-pandemic. This would double the number of bike lanes currently available to cyclists.

The second phase of the plan is to develop a new inexpensive bike which, while being affordable, also meets the necessary minimum safety requirements. It is hoped this Peruvian bicycle will make cycling more accessible to the residents of Lima.

Find out more

Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Creating new neighbourhood links in Toryglen

Through their work with local people, Glasgow-based charity Urban Roots realised that residents of a new housing development, funded as part of the regeneration of Toryglen, were finding it hard to access local services and greenspaces.

The charity applied for funding through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme to design local walking and cycling routes. These will link the new estate with nearby shops, football pitches and woodland.  

Listening to the needs of the community

To gather information on the links that would be most useful to the community, Urban Roots held focus groups tailored to their different volunteer groups, held engagements at existing meetings and ran standalone events.

Urban Roots works to support many vulnerable people and groups with protected characteristics. This experience and the trust built up with volunteers, locals and service users let them carry out in-depth consultation with groups that may have been hard to reach for a local authority or developer, including a mental health and wellbeing group and the Orchard Grove care home

The charity focused on identifying solutions to problems faced by the community in the area. They created concept boards to spark ideas at consultations. By working closely with the community and design agency LUC, Urban Roots were able to make sure that feedback from the targeted consultations was meaningfully translated into the concept designs. 

This meant the proposed designs suggested walking and cycling routes which recognised the everyday journeys made by local residents, formalised desire lines and which were accessible, safe and welcoming to all.

“I think this would be a great space to use and for everyone from elderly to disabled people. Really well thought about!”

Consultation Response

Changing local travel habits

Urban Roots used their consultations as a chance to find out more about individual and social barriers to walking and cycling in the area. This led to the charity setting up a behaviour change project in partnership with Camglen Bike Town.

The project supported local people to be more active in their everyday trips. Cycle training for adults and young people gave locals the confidence to use bikes to get around the local area. Bike maintenance sessions and guided rides help to make sure that people had the skills and knowledge to ride safely and confidently.

“ At Bike Town, we believe local communities and the organisations representing them are ideally placed to facilitate walking and cycling activities that support the development of new cycling active travel infrastructure. ”

Jim Ewing, Senior Team Leader, Camglen Biketown

Partnership working

Urban Roots were well placed to lead on the community engagement but did not have experience of project managing significant construction projects.

To take the designs forward, Urban Roots engaged with Glasgow City Council and local regeneration agency Clyde Gateway This has resulted in Clyde Gateway applying for £50,000 of detailed and technical design funding through the Places for Everyone fund, to further develop Urban Roots’ concept design work.

Key Learning

Community organisations have key local contacts and an understanding of their local area. Local authorities could contract them to help with the planning of new routes or to encourage a more meaningful engagement process.

Community organisations may also have capacity to help drive local authority projects and foster local ownership.

This approach could be replicated through all stages of a project, from initial design creation to supporting activities after construction and ongoing maintenance.

Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Reaching new audiences along the South City Way

Two women stand, talking at a counter in Bike for Good's shop. A third woman stands behind the counter smiling. The women to the left of the image is holding a green and white bike.
The new Bike for Good Hub provides servicing, repair and a community base

A proactive approach to reaching new audiences has seen a surge in the number of people trying cycling for the first time along the South City Way in Glasgow.

The South City Way project is a partnership between Glasgow City Council and Sustrans, funded through Transport Scotland. The 3km route, from Queen’s Park into the City Centre, seeks to rebalance the streets in favour of people walking and cycling and to make journeys in the area more pleasant.

Local charity Bike for Good were funded by Glasgow City Council to deliver behaviour change measures before and during construction of the project.

They offer bike recycling, cycle training, outreach activities and maintain the city’s Nextbike public bike hire fleet.

The charity has strong partnerships with local organisations around the cycle route and provided tailored support activities to different audiences. 

Focused Impact

Bike for Good’s purpose was clear: to reach people new to cycling and help them to overcome their barriers to being more active.

By organising a wide range of events that mixed food, music, films and socialising they reached people who would not have been interested in purely cycling-focussed activities.

 As a result, two-thirds of cycling activity participants were new to cycling.

Removing barriers

A section of text is written on a blackboard: "Changing lives through cycling! Our Glasgow South Community Hib offers a range of services for..."
Bike for Good run a wide range of programmes from their two Glasgow centres

Bike for Good worked hard to make it easier for more people to come along to their engagement sessions.

The sessions are free to attend and the charity proactively took their services to different areas along the route. 

As well as reaching new audiences by partnering with other organisations working on health, integration and rehabilitation programmes, they offered activities for specific audiences including:

  • Women only rides and cycle skills training
  • Kids afterschool club with occasional trips away
  • “Spokes Not Blokes”, a monthly maintenance session for women and non-binary people

Finally, Bike for Good also ran a pilot project aimed at giving people affordable access to bikes. Aimed at people on low or no income and population groups who are less likely to cycle the “Bikes for All” pilot provided access to Glasgow’s Nextbike public hire scheme for £3 year – a discount of 95%.

This meant that as well as Bike for Good activities being accessible to a wider range of people, they have increased their understanding of ways to effectively encourage participation in cycling among under-represented and minority population groups.

In a two-year period (July 2017 – July 2019), 414 people were signed up, representing 8% of all new annual members of the nextbike scheme in Glasgow during this time. In the same period, 10,253 bike rentals were made by Bikes for All participants, representing 2.3% of all nextbike hires in Glasgow. (from the Bikes for All impact report, November 2019).

Key learning

Tapping in to existing social and support networks helps increase engagement with a bigger range of audiences, especially those who may be seldom heard.

Activities that encourage people to use new infrastructure should be tailored for different target groups or individuals. As a person starts to make more journeys by bike, their needs will change. This means that there needs to be a range of ways to support them.

Local Authority Support

Glasgow City Council provided funding to Bike for Good through Smarter Choices Smarter Places funding. This two year agreement has enabled them to provide a visible and welcoming community space to promote active travel to those living and working around this new route.

The targeted use of this fund to support this significant new route is to be commended. It has supported and complemented the  changes to the built environment carried out by Glasgow City Council and, by coming from a trusted, local organisation, will help lead to longer, more impactful changes in the community.

Key learning

Just as individuals will have specific active travel needs, different infrastructure projects will require different approaches to how they encourage people to walk and cycling more in the surrounding area.

Based on the reported success of Bike for Good’s activities, a relatively small investment in providing support activities can have a large impact. The number and type of people using the route will be key measures of success, so the benefits of supporting a wider audience to be cycle-ready are clear.

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Shoreditch Parklet – An urban jungle

Shoreditch Parklet

Shoreditch is not the first area of London you think of when you think “parks”. Shoreditch High Street is a hub of trendy shops, with high tech start-up stretching off to either side and on fleek bars peppering the area. It’s the place to go in London for an artisanal coffee or a craft beer rather than relaxing in the sun.

In 2017, the urban greens and design agency Meristem was commissioned by three local authorities to create a modular system which would bring park life to Shoreditch’s Calvert Avenue. Taking over just two parking bays, an outdoor seating area for up to fourteen people was created outside the paper&cup coffee shop. .

The seating alone isn’t the biggest impact on the local area. The parklet contains twelve meters of planters with hardy shrubs, which screen the seats from the road and help to adsorb pollution in the local area. There are also two trees providing shade and increasing urban biodiversity, as well as parking for eight bikes.

The new seating created by the parklet provides more space for customers visiting local businesses and encourages people to linger in the area, helping the local economy. More cycling spaces encourages people to cycle or use public transport rather than driving to their destination.

A Parklet for People

The Shoreditch Parklet is one example of what can be done in a small space to open it up to the community. Temporary parklets, as Friends of the Earth created on George Street, Edinburgh, can help show the impact that reduced traffic can have on an area, while we can support the creation of permanent or semi-permanent parklets through the Community Links scheme, to let communities create a new space for relaxation.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out how a parklet can be added to your town, street or village through Places for Everyone.

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Eight Scottish local authorities successfully shortlisted in Community Links PLUS 2018

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

Proposals from Angus, Edinburgh, Dundee, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Perth and Kinross, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire councils have all been selected to go through to the second phase of the competition, and funds each of the 10 projects with a grant of £50,000 to further develop their proposals.

The next stage will include extensive engagement with local communities and stakeholders and developing designs which could be taken to construction. Out of these 10 finalists, a number of successful projects will be selected to be taken to construction after 2020.

The grants will total £500,000 from Transport Scotland funds, delivered through Sustrans Scotland. Each project is expected to begin further development of the proposals within the next month with the judging stage of the competition set to take place in April 2019.

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

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“The Community Links Plus fund generates some of the most exciting ideas for introducing the infrastructure we need to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and make journeys by bike or on foot.

“It’s very encouraging to see we have eight different local authorities which have not only identified opportunities in their areas but have been shortlisted for this stage of the competition. We will look forward to finding out which ideas are taken through to construction.

“The Scottish Government doubled the active travel budget to £80 million to help create an active nation of people leading healthier and more active lifestyles.”

Sustrans Scotland Head of Infrastructure Matthew Macdonald said: 

“These 10 shortlisted projects are a bold step towards a healthier, more sustainable and vibrant Scotland which designs places around the needs of people over vehicular access.

“With the backing of Transport Scotland, Sustrans will now work in partnership with the eight shortlisted local authorities to help develop their pioneering visions into realistic proposals which have the support and input of their local communities.

“These exemplar projects demonstrate the wide ranging benefits that well designing safer, friendlier places bring, such as boosting footfall for local business, improving the health of local people and creating safer environments that are more pleasant to live in and move through.”

Councillor Lynne Short, Dundee City Council city development convener, said: 

“This is an exciting win for Dundee as we look to offer more opportunities for people to cycle and walk safely around the city and beyond.

“Reaching the next stage of this process will allow us to further develop our ideas and consider options on how to improve multimodal connectivity between the centre of the city and communities.”

The 10 shortlisted projects are:

1. Angus Council: Accessible Arbroath, Active Travel, Active Town

The redesign of the A92 in Arbroath to create a segregated cycleway and footpath through the town and reduce the number of car lanes from four to two. The project would also create a 1.5km active travel corridor linking the West Links play area to the Abbey and would include redesigned junctions, crossings and landscaping to encourage and enhance cycling and walking for visitors and residents.

2. City of Edinburgh Council: Edinburgh Active Travel Network

Creating a connected network of routes across the capital, enabling cycling to be a realistic journey choice from many parts of the city to the city centre, Edinburgh Park/Gyle, Leith and the Waterfront and the Bioquarter, and also bringing significant benefits to pedestrians and to the wider public realm.

3. Dundee City Council: Northern Links

The creation of three strategic cycle routes connecting the city centre and the communities to the north east and west. These routes would form a joined up network and cross the city’s inner ring road, to encourage more people to walk or cycle to the city centre and waterfront.

4. East Renfrewshire Council: A727 Active Travel Corridor,Toll to Toll, and the A77 Newton Mearns to Glasgow Cycle Corridor

Linking Thornliebank with Clarkston the A727 Toll to Toll project would see the creation of dedicated cycle paths and improved walking routes as part of an enhanced public realm. The project would also create improvements for people walking and cycling along the A77 from Newton Mearns and Giffnock to Glasgow, by creating segregated cycle ways and connecting to key public transport links in the area.

5. Glasgow City Council: North City Way

The North City Way (NCW) aims to deliver a coherent, predominantly segregated, walking and cycling route from Milton into Glasgow City Centre, via Ashfield, Cowlairs, Keppochhill and Sighthill. It will utilise a vehicle-free bridge over the M8 and a new bridge over the Glasgow – Edinburgh railway, creating a quiet and safe route to the City Centre for people on bikes and on foot from the north of the city and beyond.

6. Glasgow City Council: Yorkhill Kelvingrove Cycling Village

Through partnership working with Glasgow City Council and Sustrans, the Community Council have already overseen some enhancements to the area including improved roads, footways and signage, installation of cycle racks and on-street cycle pumps and new Nextbike stations. Following this success, this project aims to improve the look and feel of the area, prioritising the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and creating an attractive ‘gateway’ to the SECC/Hydro.

7. Glasgow City Council: Glasgow Avenues Plus

The City Deal funded ‘Avenues’ project is a core component of the City Centre Strategy and Action Plan 2014-19, which aims to “ provide an excellent and sustainable quality of life and experience for citizens, visitors and investors that will drive growth in employment, population and shared prosperity”. Through the development of Avenues the project aims to introduce connected green routes across the city centre that will link key neighbourhoods, gateways and focus points, display a people-centred approach to street design, promote sustainable modes of transport and improve perceptions of the city.

The project builds on the Community Links PLUS partnership and will extend the benefits of both the pilot Sauchiehall Street Avenue (under construction) and ‘The Underline’ (one of the next Avenues due for completion in 2021) into the communities on the north-western fringes of the city centre. The proposed Glasgow Avenues Plus activity will further extend this connected network through and out into the wider city, provide short and long term cycle storage at key transport nodes and develop community based cycle initiatives across Glasgow providing the opportunity for all abilities all ages to participate.

8. North Ayrshire Council: Coastal Connections

Coastal Connections aims to improve the walking, cycling and public transport links between Irvine, Stevenston, Saltcoats and Ardrossan by creating new, segregated routes, bridges and new links between the towns. It will contribute to the regeneration of the areas, by creating placemaking hubs, improving waymarking and provide improved access to schools, employment areas, town centres, housing areas and key attractions including the

Maritime Museum and new Portal leisure centre.

9. Perth and Kinross Council: Perth City Region Cycle Network 

The creation of eight new, safe and direct walking and cycling routes into the city centre which will encourage more active travel and help improve the look and feel of local areas. The routes would link to public transport and National Cycle Network routes in the area.

10. South Ayrshire Council: Accessible Ayr

Accessible Ayr is a project to transform how people access Ayr town centre and how the town centre links to key destinations in the area, including local attractions and residential areas. The project reimagines Burns Statue Square with the potential to link the rail and bus infrastructure through a new combined public transport interchange.

Find out more about Sustrans’ Community Links PLUS competition

Update 31/08/2019: Community Links PLUS has become part of Places for Everyone. Details for the new programme can be found here.

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New walking and cycling project in Edinburgh to mark Clean Air Day

To mark Clean Air Day, Sustrans Scotland are inviting members of the public to share their views on the current conditions and issues along the streets and the types of improvements they would like to see, as part of a new “Meadows to George Street: Streets for People” project.

This initial engagement from the public in the project forms part of a series of events and activities over the summer which will gather the views of anyone who uses the route or who has an interest in it. People are invited to visit the project webpage to sign up for updates and share their views via the online Placecheck tool.

“Meadows to George Street: Streets for People” is funded by the Scottish Government through Sustrans Scotland’s “Community Links PLUS design competition”. It aims to transform this busy transport route in the heart of historic Edinburgh by significantly enhancing the quality of walking, cycling and public spaces. The project will extend along Hanover Street, The Mound, George IV Bridge, Forrest Road, Bristo Place and Teviot Place.

Sustrans Scotland head of infrastructure, Matthew Macdonald said:

“The ‘Meadows to George Street’ project will vastly improve the experience for people walking and cycling in Edinburgh and help create safe, coherent and attractive routes through the city centre.

“The City of Edinburgh Council have demonstrated real vision in their proposal and has shown they are keen to improve journeys for people on foot and on bikes, of all abilities, across the capital.”

As part of a City Summit to mark the International Clean Air Day, City of Edinburgh Council will hold a series of events, including closing one of Edinburgh’s central streets to cars and having a procession led by Scotland’s Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf.

Sustrans Scotland’s National Director, John Lauder said:

“Clean air has never been more important, and the need for action never more urgent.  Walking and cycling are all steps people can take to do their bit in reducing emissions, while improving their health. In contrast, poor quality air has been shown to cause a whole range of health problems. The best and easiest way to deal with air pollution in cities is to reduce the number of cars in congested urban spaces.”

Find out more about how we are working towards improving air quality

Read more about our Community Links PLUS Projects  

Update 31/08/2019: Community Links PLUS has become part of Places for Everyone. Details for the new programme can be found here.

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Raising the standards of walking and cycling projects in Scotland

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

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

Raising future standards

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

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

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

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

Making a difference to policy

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

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

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

Making a difference to people

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

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

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

Moving forward

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

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

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