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.
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.
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.
The 2020/21 evaluation report published today provides evidence on the key impacts of the Places for Everyone grant fund, and demonstrates the contributions of the programme to the outcomes set out in Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Framework.
The report also highlights how the programme performed during the pandemic and the baseline monitoring currently being undertaken for projects in the design stage.
The Places for Everyone programme is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans.
The programme is open to a range of organisations in Scotland – including local authorities and community groups – that enables the creation of active travel infrastructure.
In addition to funding, the programme also provides advice and support to partners on establishing safe, attractive, healthier places in our urban and rural areas.
There are currently around 250 projects in place or in development as part of the Places for Everyone programme.
Impact of the programme
The report aggregated data from projects across the lifespan of the Places for Everyone programme up to and including the 2020/21 funding year. This includes Sustrans Scotland’s previous Community Links and Community Links Plus grant funds.
One of the key findings is that walking, wheeling, and cycling numbers increased after the completion of infrastructure projects.
Results from an analysis of 30 projects showed a 54% average estimated rise in active travel trips after initial delivery.
Further study showed that the increase in active travel was sustained one year after delivery, with 24 projects averaging a 37% increase in trips.
The monitoring also suggests that the programme led to an improvement in the perception of safety among both pedestrians and cyclists.
This was particularly evident among groups who traditionally regard safety as a barrier to active travel, including women, the elderly and disabled people.
Local people’s perceptions of community involvement in planned Places for Everyone projects were equally encouraging.
In Glasgow, a survey of 984 local residents found that 71% felt the Connecting Woodside project would either greatly or slightly improve the sense of community in their area.
Monitoring and evaluation during the pandemic
Results show that Places for Everyone projects were particularly beneficial to communities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme helped mitigate against some of the impacts at local level by providing safe active travel options for key workers and others.
The projects saw increases in walking, wheeling and cycling during a period of unparalleled societal change.
In Edinburgh, for example, the Innocent Railway path project saw a 344% growth in cycling between 2014 and during the pandemic in 2020.
The Places for Everyone programme is committed to enabling more people in Scotland to walk, wheel and cycle for their everyday journeys.
The Research and Monitoring Unit are continuing to monitor a sample of projects currently at design stage, and will update their analysis with projects from 2021/22 and 2022/23.
Planned work includes upgrading active travel routes, improvements to public spaces in our towns and cities, connecting communities and key hubs and addressing local safety issues.
This highlights the variety in the programme’s work, with projects ranging from rural to urban and village to city.
It also evidences Places for Everyone’s contributions to wider development projects such as local masterplans and flood defence schemes.
Nigel Donnell from Sustrans’ Research and Monitoring Unit, said:
“We’re really pleased to be able to share this evaluation report. It highlights that the Places for Everyone programme is helping people throughout Scotland to walk, wheel and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.
We are really proud of everything it has achieved so far, and with around 250 projects in place or in development the fund will continue to play an important role in creating safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive communities.
We’d like to thank Transport Scotland for providing the funding to facilitate the Places for Everyone fund, and our delivery partners whose hard work has ensured the success of the programme”.
The full report is available on request, if you would like to find out more contact email@example.com.
The most recent funding awards for Places for Everyone projects at Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) have now been announced.
Applications for projects at Developed and Technical Design (Stages 3-4) were presented to The Decision Making Panel in December 2022, with awards for successful projects being made in February 2023.
See list of awards.
The next set of funding awards will be announced for project applications at Construction (Stages 5-7) in spring 2023.
What has been awarded?
Details about successful projects progressing to the Developed and Technical Design stages can be found below.
Ashgrove Connects: £1,815,000
Proposals include reducing the speed of traffic, creating more crossings, simplifying junctions, providing separate areas for active travel, and co-designing community spaces which will increase road user safety.
Bathgate Water Improvement Project: £130,000
By taking a holistic approach to improving the watercourse that runs through the Wester Inch area of Bathgate, this project will provide a path network that will encourage active travel and create an environment that supports wildlife.
The Causey Project Phase 2: £192,362
Phase 2of thiscommunity led project will transform the quality of the area around West Crosscauseway to re-establish it as an important route for everyday active travel and improve the sense of place for local people.
Cessnock-Ibrox Village Strip – Liveable Neighbourhoods: £528,826
This project will see the addition of controlled pedestrian crossings, wider and continuous footways, enhanced lighting, placemaking and new greenspaces. A new protected cycleway along Paisley Road West will also be created.
City-wide Public Bike Parking: £14,480
This project will see public bike parking infrastructure installed and increased across the City of Edinburgh to encourage more people to cycle for their everyday journeys.
Civic Street, establishing an active travel intersection for the canal: £35,000
This project will improve the walking, wheeling, and cycling routes that converge at Civic Street, connecting the city centre with communities in north Glasgow.
Dalbeattie Active Travel Links Phase 2: £73,012
The project seeks to provide new cycling infrastructure, including a new footbridge, in Dalbeattie. This will improve connectivity to Dalbeattie Learning Campus, Dalbeattie Town Centre and Craignair Health Centre, as well as promoting active travel in the area.
The Dummy Railway: £233,978
The focus of this project is to create safer, more accessible routes for local people by upgrading the footpaths and landscaping in the area. This will increase play provision, encourage biodiversity and promote walking, wheeling, and cycling.
Flourishing Molendinar: £136,504
The Flourishing Molendinar active travel routes will extend high quality walking, wheeling, and cycling connections into the northeast of Glasgow and along the A80.
Follow On From Connecting West End community to Riverside & the Waterfront: £442,655
Replacing an existing footbridge over the East Coast railway which is at the end of its serviceable lifespan is the focus of this project. The current bridge is not suitable for users with mobility issues and anyone wheeling or cycling due to its stepped access.
Greater Govan City Network: £2,295,000
Designs for the Greater Govan area in Glasgow include the introduction of a high-quality cycling network, as well as enhanced pedestrian infrastructure and public realm improvements.
Introduction of green infrastructure and an active travel route linking Eastern Springburn: £89,500
The aim of this project is to create a new active travel route linking communities to the east and west of the Red Road Transitional Regeneration Area (TRA). The new route will provide improvements to active walking, wheeling and cycling movement, whilst creating a new link between neighbourhoods and community facilities.
Leith Connections Phase 3: £653,000
Phase 3 will deliver pedestrian improvements, a segregated cycle track with protected junctions and improved placemaking along Leith’s west-east corridor.
Musselburgh Active Toun Routes 1 and 5 local Stage 3 & 4 Design: £371,000
Musselburgh Active Toun (MAT) is reimagining Musselburgh with sustainability, resilience and local communities at its heart. The project comprises six strategic active travel routes and a series of local connectors. This phase seeks to take forward two strategic routes and key local paths.
This element of the Possilpark Liveable Neighbourhood will focus on the transformation of Saracen Street. It will improve the public realm and create new green infrastructure including protected cycle lanes as part of the city network.
Powderhall phase 2 Former Waste Transfer Station – Powderhall Junction: £46,540
This project seeks to enhance Powderhall Junction for people walking, wheeling, and cycling. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to move around the local area without the need for motorised transport.
Queensferry – walking, wheeling and cycling improvements: £428,000
Designs for significant improvements to active travel infrastructure in the south of Queensferry will connect communities with the town centre.
Stoneyburn Links – Bents to A706: £123,289
Stoneyburn Linkswill offer those dependent on car use a sustainable alternative for commuting in and out of the village by removing barriers and improving accessibility.
Union Street Transformation: £301,878
A community led co-design process aims to create a safer, more attractive, healthier and inclusive, climate resilient place enjoyed equitably by the people who live on, work in and visit the street.
Walk, Wheel, Cycle Burdiehouse: £348,000
Walk, Wheel, Cycle Burdiehousewill provide active travel infrastructure on key roads linking to housing developments in the area. Measures will include widened footpaths, segregated cycle tracks and newly signalised crossings.
What does this mean?
Backed by the Scottish Government, Places for Everyone aims to create safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive places by increasing and diversifying the number of trips made by walking, wheeling, and cycling for everyday journeys.
Developed and Technical Design builds on early proposals from Concept (Stages 1-2) to help establish project designs which are shaped by local communities and key stakeholders that are construction ready.
Places for Everyone provides 100% of the funding for all designs and other pre-construction activity.
Construction (Stages 5-7) completes the Places for Everyone process by physically delivering the infrastructure on the ground.
Places for Everyone provides 70% of the funding for construction.
More information on Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Plan of Work stages can be found here.
Decision Making Panels comprise of both senior members of the Sustrans infrastructure delivery teams as well as key external representatives.
More information on Decision Making Panels can be accessed here.
Residents, school pupils and artists who worked to redevelop Craigie Place in Perth have celebrated following the completion of installations designed to make the area a better place to walk, wheel, cycle and live.
The square where Craigie Place meets Glenearn Road and Windsor Terrace, on National Cycle Network Route 775, has been resurfaced and a designated cycle path installed. Also among the improvements are the installation of benches, cycle parking and raised beds for planting.
Artists Eleanor Young from Fun Makes Good and Hamish Bigg from Bigg Design designed wayfinding artwork and floor murals, highlighting places of local interest as well as those further along NCN775 such as Loch Leven, and, more locally, Perth’s South Inch park and Craigie Burn.
The improvements, developed by Sustrans Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council together with the community, Inch View Primary School and St Mary Magdalene’s Church through online consultations and surveys, were designed to address local concerns about unsafe and illegal parking in the square, as well as difficulty finding NCN775.
Paul Ruffles, Principal Urban Designer, Sustrans, said:
“This is a wonderful small project delivered in partnership with the local community, Perth and Kinross Council and local artists. The work has transformed the space from a redundant space used for car parking into a calm, green and vibrant space for people of all ages and abilities. It’s a real pleasure to see these changes happen and highlights the value of putting people at the heart of decisions on their local spaces.”
Christopher Lennox, Technician, Road Safety, Traffic and Network, Perth & Kinross Council, said:
“My involvement in the scheme was to investigate, partially design and organise the hard landscaping works on behalf of Sustrans. This included helping with the construction strategy and traffic management plan. The pocket places programme has revitalised the small space creating a focal point in the community, having improved travel networks benefitting both pedestrians and cyclists.”
Artists Eleanor Young and Hamish Bigg said:
“Bigg Design and Fun Makes Good have been delighted to work with Sustrans and Perth and Kinross Council to transform this once derelict space. We were amazed at the support and responses we received from Inch View Primary School and the local community. It’s been particularly enjoyable getting hands-on installing the artwork and meeting residents as they’ve come to chat to us and see the project evolve – everyone has been so friendly and enthusiastic about the new space!
“Located on the National Cycle Network, the sculpture draws on the aesthetics of road signage and ground markings, reinventing them to create a colourful and engaging public space. A circle of posts support double-sided artworks symbolising local landmarks and places of interest, whilst a hand-painted ground mural acts as a ‘compass’ to point visitors in their direction.
“Combined with Sustrans’ landscape design, we hope the new space creates an oasis of art and planting in the urban environment – a place to meet, rest and play, that invites exploration of the local area.”
Sustrans Scotland’s 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. Pocket Places is funded by the Scottish Government through Transport Scotland and delivered by Sustrans Scotland.
Celebrations were held on Langdale Street in the North East of Glasgow last month, as early designs to improve walking, wheeling, and cycling in the local area were completed.
On the 22nd and 23rd September residents came together to learn about the ambitions of the Flourishing Molendinar project.
Play days were held on the section of the street that St. Paul’s Youth Forum – the group leading the project – wants to close to through traffic in order to promote active, sustainable travel and create a community space.
It was a fantastic event with many families coming down to enjoy the space. Local children had their bikes fixed, held races on the closed road and were able to learn more about the vision of the project.
Inspiration behind the project
For many years, Langdale Street and the surrounding areas have experienced high levels of traffic and poor air quality.
As Jean McClean from Blackhill Community Council, explained: “This wee community is stuck right in the middle of two motorways, and this is a thorough-through for kids from Blackhill to get up to St Philomena’s. It’s quite dangerous with cars and big trucks flying up and down this area.”
Community engagement found that barriers to active travel in this part of Glasgow were the speed and volume of traffic, lack of safe routes and the condition of the paths.
What is Flourishing Molendinar?
Flourishing Molendinar aims to create a network of segregated active travel routes and quiet streets which are accessible and safe, making it easier and more enjoyable for local people to walk, wheel, and cycle.
“One of the things in the community that was often fed back to us was about transport poverty.
We’re only three miles away from the city centre, but there’s a massive disconnect in terms of public transport – in getting to and from the city centre.
“It’s [the project] about ensuring people in the North East of Glasgow can enjoy the same opportunities as their peers across the city”
Ben Raw, St Paul’s Community Group
As part of the proposed work, Langdale Street will be transformed into a quiet route where walking, wheeling, and cycling are prioritised, whilst still maintaining access for residents, blue badge holders and emergency service vehicles.
Pupils of St. Philomena’s Primary School will be one of the main beneficiaries of the project which will create safer routes for travelling to and from school.
Flourishing Molendinar will eventually lead to the development of Langdale Place – a proposed community space featuring enhanced greenspace, benches and places for people to meet and socialise.
Driven by and for the local community
Flourishing Molendinar has, up to this point, been led by St. Paul’s Youth Forum and their On Bikes project. Funding was provided by Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme, with support from Glasgow City Council and designers Urban Movement.
To make sure that the developments fit the needs and wants of local people, members of the community have fed in throughout the design process.
Since the project started a number of exciting consultation and engagement methods were used to ensure that different voices were heard.
Activities included tasking school children with creating designs for Langdale Place during Minecraft workshops. Most recently, this approach to engaging young people in street design won the award for ‘Most Innovative Transport Project of the Year’ at the Scottish Transport Awards.
A session with local artists was also held during St Paul’s weekly community evening meal. Attendees were shown a museum box containing old toys, games and photographs which was used to inspire conversations on how streets were used in the past.
Other methods of communication included social media campaigns, logo drawing and badge making sessions, meetings with a local steering group, street stalls and led cycle rides that included additional learning regarding climate change, air pollution, urban design and the Flourishing Molendinar project.
This cross-community engagement has been very successful and culminated with the Langdale Street closure, where people came together to celebrate the project.
“It’s great for me to see my community happy. My community is going to benefit out of this closure and this project”
Jean McClean, Blackhill Community Council
Flourishing Molendinar is now moving to the next stage of the development and is being handed over to Glasgow City Council who are going to drive it forwards.
“Flourishing Molendinar shows what can be achieved when communities are engaged with redevelopment projects.
The combination of new public spaces, improved pedestrian crossings, new segregated cycle lanes and redesigned quiet streets is going to transform this area of Glasgow.
It is going to connect people together, and ensure that everyone in the local community, regardless of age or ability, can safely walk, wheel or cycle for everyday journeys”.
A landmark project for the city, the scheme intends to not only improve safety and accessibility for those travelling by foot and wheel, but also seeks to increase economic activity and footfall for local businesses.
The project received £6.8m in funding from Places for Everyone, as well as £2.5m of Scottish Government investment from the City Region Deal and £258k from Stirling Council’s developer contributions allocation.
The city-wide plan also presents Stirling Council and partners with new place-making and tourism opportunities along the new routes, with the infrastructure also laying the foundations for future connections to Clackmannanshire and the wider Forth Valley region.
A detailed look
6.5km of new infrastructure will be created in total, smoothly interlinking with existing but currently disconnected routes across the city in order to connect communities, businesses and higher education institutes throughout Stirling for active travel for the first time.
Route one will provide a safe and accessible route between Stirling Train station and the University of Stirling, taking in iconic landmarks like Old Stirling Bridge and the National Wallace Monument along the way.
Route two will bridge the gaps between Forth Valley College and the City Centre along Albert Place, Dumbarton Road and Raploch Road, under the shadow of Stirling Castle.
The wider picture
In attendance at a launch event for the project alongside local councillors, residents and business owners, Sustrans’ Portfolio Director Karen McGregor said:
“Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling is a truly transformative project that we at Sustrans are excited to be working on as part of our Places for Everyone programme. The project will make walking, wheeling and cycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone, making it easier for people to move between the iconic landmarks that make Stirling the unique place that it is.”
Karen McGregor, Sustrans
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Farmer said:
“For the first time ever we’ll be able to create seamless sustainable travel options that link the institutions and businesses of our City with their local communities, setting a new standard of local active travel infrastructure.
This investment will make it easier to walk or wheel around Stirling and we hope this improved and increased access will not only meet the growing demands for better active travel infrastructure, but embed a culture that embraces cycling, walking and wheeling in the everyday lives of the people who live, work and visit Stirling.”
Cllr Farmer, Stirling Council Leader
As one of the cornerstone projects of the £90.2million Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling delivers connections which extend far beyond the city itself, whilst also further emboldening the Scottish Government’s plan to tackle climate change.
Clackmannanshire Council Leader, Ellen Forson said:
“I am delighted to see this project start to take shape. It will improve connectivity for our residents by providing a link to routes already established in Clackmannanshire, and is a great example of partnership working through the Stirling & Clackmannanshire City Region Deal.”
Cllr Forson, Clackmannanshire Council Leader
Scottish Government Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said:
“These walking and wheeling corridors will promote more sustainable travel, healthier lifestyles and opportunities for tourism while connecting Stirling’s educational institutions, businesses and communities.
This is helping deliver the bold and ambitious actions we need to help reduce carbon emissions to net zero and encourage sustainable economic growth.”
Kate Forbes, Scottish Government Economy Secretary
Initial construction will start in tandem on Raploch Road East near the King’s Knot, and Airthrey Road near the University.
The project is due to be completed by March 2024, whereupon Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling will serve as a major active travel network for communities across the wider Stirling landscape.
Meadows to George Street is one of the winners of
Sustrans Scotland’s 2017 Community Links PLUS competition, now known
as Places for Everyone. Places for Everyone is an opportunity to conceptualise,
design and deliver exemplary and inspirational walking, cycling and
placemaking projects in Scotland.
Our vision is to transform cycling,
walking, public spaces and accessibility for all on some of Edinburgh’s busiest
and most iconic streets.
Our design proposals include new segregated cycleways, wider
pavements, and pedestrian priority areas. We propose to close some streets to
some types of traffic. We also want to plant new trees and create new public
As part of our consultation we wanted to invite people to enjoy a
street usually dominated by vehicles, to have time to pause, look up and enjoy
the architecture and see the street in a new way.
Join us as we pedestrianise one of Edinburgh most historic streets for a FREE family fun day of buskers, circus performers and incredible art installations on Sunday 9 June, 10am – 4pm.
Street art specialists Open Close will create a huge installation with natural turf covering much of the street road surface. They invite you to claim the space as your own and imagine what Candlemaker Row would be like if it was pedestrianised. How would you use it?
Chris Rutterford is one of Scotland’s leading mural artists and he will be displaying several pieces from his portfolio which largely focus on crowd scenes from iconic Scottish moments. He will also be painting live during the event.
There will be roaming circus performers from Think Circus who will be delivering ad-hoc workshops for any budding acrobats, clowns or jugglers who want to get involved!
A programme of six busking musicians will be playing throughout the day, alongside the Bubble Whisperer, to help bring the street to life.
We invite you to come and participate in this fantastic FREE event and a rare opportunity to see Candlemaker Row pedestrianised! There is no particular schedule for the day and no matter what time of the day you arrive you will be able to enjoy all of our outlined activities.
Date: Sunday 9 June Time: 10am – 4pm Venue: Candlemaker Row & Merchant Street
Lowering traffic speeds in towns and cities to 20mph can seem like quite a small change to make to an area, but the move can have a hugely positive effect on local communities and businesses as well as the environment.
Glasgow’s Woodside area has become the latest in Scotland to adopt a lower speed limit. The move, which extends the current 20mph limit in the majority of the city centre, follows on from the completion of Edinburgh’s city-wide reduction in speed earlier this year – which was funded by Scottish Government through our Community Links programme.
Sustrans’ vision is for active travel to become the default option in cities and communities throughout the UK. And there is a growing body of evidence around the world showing that reducing speed limits on roads can reduce the risk and impact of collisions, helps our towns and cities thrive and can make streets more appealing for walking and cycling.
Safety issues aside, one of the more pleasing findings from Edinburgh’s roll out of 20mph limits was that the changes meant that more children were now playing outside, thanks to the decreased risks. People also report benefits such as less noisy streets – particularly at night – as well as better air quality.
As a winner of Sustrans’ 2017 Community Links PLUS design competition, Connecting Woodside aims to introduce safe, segregated cycle routes, walking opportunities and links to nearby neighbourhoods. However a key part of the project, which is being run in partnership with Glasgow City Council, is also focused on improvements the local area, making it an attractive place to live and visit.
Introducing 20mph limits in residential zones will be key to meeting these aims.
By doing so, the move will help to transform the neighbourhood into a safer, more attractive place for people to live, invest and visit helping to contribute to a healthier, more active Glasgow for everyone.