Engage • Inspire • Learn News News & Opinion

Project Portal new version run-through

Julian Cram, Senior Web Developer and Data Base Administrator of Sustrans Scotland, provides a run-through of the changes made to the Project Portal.

Key updates

  • Completely new styling to improve readability and usability
  • Accessibility of the interface now meets WGAG guidelines wherever possible
  • Greater device support with a more responsive interface
  • Revisions to some pages to make most used areas or features more prominent
  • Updated navigation menu to make moving around the site easier
  • Major performance improvement.

Contact us

If partners have any questions relating to the Project Portal and the changes that have been made, please contact

Engage • Inspire • Learn

Effective behaviour change

Partners from local authorities and organisations around Scotland were invited to hear from a variety of guest speakers who shared their experience and expertise in influencing attitudes, habits and behaviour.

These sessions are part of the Places for Everyone event programme – Engage · Inspire · Learn

Why it’s important to influence public behaviour

First, we hear from Susanne Mueller, Communities Coordinator, Sustrans Scotland. Susanne highlights two key reasons why it’s important to influence public behaviour, in relation to Active Travel:

  1. Tackling the climate crisis
  2. Improving public health

Leven’s Behaviour Change Action Plan

Next, Susanne is joined by Daniel Prince, Infrastructure Coordinator, Sustrans Scotland and Enid Trevett, Community Engagement Officer, Coalfield Regeneration Trust. They share how the Coalfield Regeneration Trust has successfully co-developed Leven’s Behaviour Change Action Plan. This includes embedding the following values into the Behaviour Change Action Plan:

  1. Local first;
  2. Involve young people;
  3. Using what is already available; and
  4. The spirit of community needs to be fostered through the way actions are delivered.

Cycling Scotland’s Behaviour Change Initiatives

Last, we hear from Katharine Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland. Katharine speaks about the Cycling Friendly programme and how the award and grant funding programme works with organisations in a variety of workplace, education and community settings across Scotland. The programme aims to address barriers to cycling and increase access to bikes and cycling rates. The session also touches on the available tools for creating and sustaining behaviour change.

Engage • Inspire • Learn PfE

Completion of Phase 1 of Connecting Woodside

Connecting Woodside, previously known as Woodside Mini-Holland, was funded by Sustrans Scotland through Places for Everyone, and Glasgow City Council. The Places for Everyone programme is funded by Transport Scotland.
Engage • Inspire • Learn SfP

Monitoring active travel infrastructure during Covid-19

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

Dynamic engagement

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

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

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

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

Three strategic principles

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

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

Questions Answered

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

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

Engage • Inspire • Learn News SfP

The Highland Council – lessons learned

Gaining insights

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

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

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

Looking back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions answered

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

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

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

Engage • Inspire • Learn

What can we learn from the return to school?

The majority of children in Scotland have been learning from home since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in March. Sustrans.

Spaces for schools

It’s been just under one month since children throughout Scotland returned to school after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to and during time this time, Sustrans have been working with local authorities through the Spaces for People programme to ensure that children have been able to get to and from class safely.

In this week’s knowledge sharing session, Sustrans Infrastructure Officer Dan Jeffs discusses how temporary infrastructure around schools has been supporting walking, wheeling and cycling.

Dan Jeffs talks about the benefits of children travelling actively to school, both within the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Teaching active travel

There are three main ways to help parents and children travel actively to and from school:

  • School Streets
  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Place-based measures

Whether its through speed limit restrictions, priority access times or closed streets, each of these changes moderates driver behaviour to prioritise the comfort and safety of those the school run.

Thinking smart, staying healthy

National advice very much favours children travelling to school actively where possible. The key here is in expanding what is possible.

Not only do one third of children said they would like to cycle to school if they could, but active travel to school has been shown to increase children’s concentration levels for up to four hours.

Closing roads to traffic encourages children to travel actively and see the playground in the street. Colin Hattersley/Sustrans

“Where possible your child should travel to and from school on foot, bike or scooter while maintaining physical distance.”

The regular exercise that walking, wheeling and cycling provides also helps to keep children healthy, reducing sick days and improving school conduct.

Less cars on school roads travelling at slower speeds has been shown to reduce traffic accidents.

A breath of fresh air

The Kelvin Way in Glasgow was closed to traffic earlier this year in order to provide access to green spaces and give people room to exercise. Sustrans.

Promoting health and active travel is also about contributing to a sustainable environment, an issue which will affect future generations more than anyone else.

By walking, wheeling or cycling to school instead of taking the car, our air quality has been shown to improve time and again.

With Scottish Climate week just around the corner on September 14th, and Clean Air Day on October 8th, it is now more important than ever to consider the effects our travel habits have on those most vulnerable to the consequences.

Engage • Inspire • Learn

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – an introduction

Pop-up filter in Croydon
Pop-up filter in Croydon. Meristem Design

What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?

There have been big increases in the amount of traffic on residential streets over the past few decades. This has resulted in more noise and air pollution as well as a greater danger on roads.

To address this problem, some local authorities have put in place filters such as bollards or planters, through which people can walk or cycle, but not drive.

Other local authorities have taken a more strategic, holistic approach, and removed through-traffic from entire residential areas..

This application, known as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) is widespread in the Netherlands. It means that private motorised vehicles can still access all homes and businesses, but they cannot cross through a neighbourhood. People can therefore only travel through the area on foot, wheel, bicycle or bus.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: where people can only only travel through an area on foot, bicycle or bus.

What makes them so good for communities?

Low Traffic Neighborhoods have been proven to significantly reduce traffic volumes, both in the residential streets and across the entire residential area.

This is known as traffic evaporation – when short trips previously made by cars are now taken by other modes, such as by foot or bike.

Low traffic neighbourhoods have also shown to:

  • increase physical activity through walking, wheeling and cycling
  • benefit local businesses
  • create new public leisure spaces
  • deliver improved air quality

In light of this, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can be described as a public health tool rather than a transport tool.

This knowledge sharing session explores the different ways in which towns and cities across Scotland can implement Low Traffic Neighbourhoods so that local communities can reap the benefits of this simple, cost-effective measure.

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

Engage • Inspire • Learn

Access for all – designing inclusive spaces

Inclusivity in Infrastructure

Temporary measures introduced through Spaces for People are designed to protect public health and facilitate essential journeys for all groups, including those with additional support and mobility needs.

In support of this, Sustrans are working closely with local authorities to ensure that people with disabilities and other affected groups are considered appropriately throughout every project.

Today, we’re joined by Ali MacDonald, Organisational Lead for Healthy and Active Environments, Public Health Scotland as well as David Hunter, Independent Consultant at Mobility Access Committe Scotland (MACS) to discuss appropriate accessibility provisions across a variety of contexts in temporary infrastructure design.

Temporary ramps provide a quick, simple and cost-effective solution to the mobility needs of those maneuvering a wheelchair, pram or a walker. Market Square, Fraserburgh. Abermedia/Sustrans

Main Considerations

In terms of specific measures, please consider:

  • Many disabled people are more reliant on their cars and taxis than
    others. Appropriate provision must be made for parking, access etc.
  • Safe space for pedestrians should be separate from cyclists.
  • Pavements should be kept free of obstacles/clutter, including roadworks. signs, bins, encroaching vegetation. These can be a particular hazard for visually impaired people and constrain footways for everyone.
  • Any areas separated off to provide extra walking or cycle space must take into account how disabled people can get on or off the pavement; this is especially important at bus stops.
  • Barriers (for example used to delineate a temporary pavement from a traffic lane) should be detectable by a blind person using a long cane.
  • Attention should be given to making sure enforcement (for example of traffic speed, parking/cycling on pavements) is effective.

Further guidance on how to design inclusive walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure in response to Covid-19 can be found here.

Questions Answered

  • How do we ensure that projects meet the needs of everyone?
  • How can we effectively consider the needs of disabled people without deepening existing health inequalities?
  • What are the accessibility considerations around removing things from the streetscape to create more space?

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

Engage • Inspire • Learn

Global temporary infrastructure

Countries all over the world have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with creative and effective temporary infrastructure solutions to help protect public health.

What has happened around the world?

From Bogota to Milan, and Winnipeg to Brighton; all around the world, countries have responded to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic through the installation of temporary infrastructure measures in order to promote effective physical distancing and protect public health.

Temporary cycle lanes were installed across Berlin to make it easier for cyclists to complete essential journeys.

In Paris, ‘Corona Cycleways’ link up the city for active travel in order to help facilitate safer travel while also safeguarding against severe congestion as people become more wary use public transport.

Aukland, meanwhile, has removed parking spaces in order to extend the footways of busy streets, utilising basic materials such as planter boxes and colourful paint.

Regardless of geographical location and the measures being adopted, however, once thing is clear – people everywhere are reevaluating how we use shared spaces and the ways we move within them.

How can we learn from this?

In this knowledge sharing session, Infrastructure Officers for Sustrans Sam Valentine, Daniel Jeffs and Poppea Daniel discuss the transformative temporary infrastructure changes taking place outside of Scotland in a bid to inspire Scottish local authorities implementing their own.

Across the various case studies presented, three types of temporary measures are discussed:

  1. Pavement widening
  2. Temporary Cycle lanes
  3. Open Streets

To learn more about what is happening elsewhere in the world to promote safe walking and cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic, click here.

Note: the examples shown are in no way prescriptive and are for information only. Where specific products are shown in this document, this does not constitute Sustrans’ endorsement of that product. This webinar was recorded early June, and was up to date at the time of recording.

Engage • Inspire • Learn

Re-imagining public spaces after Covid-19

How public spaces will operate as lockdown restrictions are eased is key. Here, we look at how we can make the most of public spaces to safeguard community health going forward.

Thinking for the Future

As lockdown restrictions are further eased throughout Scotland, we can begin to look beyond the simple but nonetheless effective space reallocation measures that have already been implemented by local authorities, and instead consider how we can re-imagine the design of our public spaces so as to be more conducive with public health.

In this knowledge sharing session, Infrastructure Officer for Sustrans Dan Jeffs provides a comprehensive oversight of how reallocated spaces in towns and cities can be re-imagined through simple, affordable and inspiring measures.

Practical design installations can be not only visually appealing but also serve as positive reinforcements of where space is prioritised in the street. Essex, London (Avenue of Art Initiative)

The Case for Change

In all likelihood, there will be an extended period of time within which physical distancing guidelines are prescribed by UK government. This, however, needs to be compatible with people’s legitimate needs to move around in order for society to function.

Ensuring people are able to safely access their places of work, receive essential healthcare, exercise in parks, shop for groceries, and get their children to school are all crucial components of how we design temporary infrastructure and utilise space going forward.

In addition to this, and in a broader more holistic sense, how we move around our local areas has a big impact on our wellbeing. Walking, cycling or wheeling in fresh air is not only positive for physical health, but also helps people feel connected in times of increased isolation.

As such, adapting infrastructure to be more visually appealing and meaningful to communities is also an invaluable untaking.

“Streets need to be adapted to play a broader role in people’s general wellbeing, by offering a social, cultural and community experience”

Dan Jeffs, Infrastructure Officer, Sustrans
Art and infrastructure design can complement one another in a multitude of ways in order to effect positive behaviour change in our streets. London (Better Bankside)

How this can help

  • Making spaces function better – to assist physical distancing
  • Helping to moderate driver – safeguarding cyclists and pedestrian using reallocated carriageway space
  • Creating multi-sensory environments – to support people’s well-being by creating pleasant and attractive spaces for people to socialise and feel connected
  • Designs for everyone – to appeal to a broader range of user groups, defined by age, ability and purpose
  • Encouraging people to be/stay active – whether through walking, cycling, wheeling or playing
  • Building cultural/community connections – to communicate a shared sense of place and community 
  • Giving people a greater sense of ownership – likely to reduce upkeep and maintenance
  • Set out an exciting vision – to be inspired and inspire others
  • Gauging public response – to assess the climate for broader range of permanent interventions
  • Re-invigorating high streets and commercial areas – to safely allow people to shop, rest and socialise within these spaces

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