Space for Distancing graphic

 

It’s now been over three weeks since the transport minister announced an extra £20m for the Spaces for People funding – so what’s happening on the ground? Which councils have successfully applied for money and to do what?

Sustrans have now listed all of the funding awarded so far but with no details on the individual proposals. We’ve trawled through the websites of every local authority in Scotland to see what we can find out. (If you want to get a flavour of what it’s like at the coalface of cycle campaigning you can follow this twitter thread for a blow-by-blow and council-by-council account).

We’ve listed all the councils below, and what we could find out about each one’s plans. From what we could find online, 9 councils have done nothing at all, 7 have been awarded some money but haven’t announced any details about their bid or their plans and 4 have just started consulting on possible measures. NHS Highland helped Highland Council with their bid and a few other public sector bodies have submitted bids of their own with TACTRAN also awarded some money so far, although we haven’t got the details of those yet. In total, almost £16.5m has already been allocated. If the Minister hadn’t increased the size of the fund, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow city councils alone would have hoovered up all of the initial £10m – the way things are going, even the £30m isn’t going to be anywhere near enough. The appetite for change is clearly out there among local authorities and the wider public, surprising everyone, including the Scottish Government.

Lesley MacInnes uses temporary bike lane
Edinburgh’s Transport Convenor Lesley MacInnes spotted making use of the new ‘Coronalanes’ on the Old Dalkeith Road. Photo: Chris Russell

When it comes to the sorts of approaches being planned they’re also a very mixed bag. Some councils are concentrating mainly on pedestrians and the need to queue outside shops, while others have explicit plans for arterial cycle routes to mitigate for loss of public transport capacity, which could otherwise cause gridlock in many towns and cities. Within urban areas, measures include temporary 20mph zones, parking restrictions, pavement widening, automatic green man cycles at crossings and temporary crossings, bike lanes (some segregated, some just paint), traffic filters and low traffic neighbourhoods, street closures around schools, and one-way systems and signs for pedestrians and at bus stops. But it’s not all been town and city centres – some councils are looking at rural roads, largely through introducing 40mph limits and clearing and widening footpaths. 

Union Street closure in Aberdeen
Union Street closure in Aberdeen. Photo Rachel Martin

Like everyone, we’re impatient to see measures appearing on the ground, but also conscious that things are moving very much faster than normal for council schemes. The details below show that some councils have been much more prepared than others, and that they take a very different approach to publicising and consulting over their plans. 

Temporary cycle lane on Clyde Street
Temporary cycle lane introduced very early on in Glasgow. Photo Iona Shepherd

Whatever your council is doing, you need to let them know that you want to see proper #SpaceForDistancing. If they are consulting, then please take the time to respond, add your own suggestions, and support others that make sense. If they aren’t, then they will still be monitoring social media so it’s worth tagging them into tweets and posts with suggestions – or positively supporting plans they’ve announced. Councillors pay attention to emails from constituents, so get in touch with yours (and you can also find a list of key contacts in each council here). And if all else fails, some groups have made their suggestions in more concrete form … and actually seen their guerrilla lanes made official.

This is a massive opportunity to see things trialled that we might have had to campaign for years, or even decades for – don’t let this moment pass. Not all of the plans will be perfect, and none of them will give local cyclists everything they want or need – but there will be many people out there opposing even the most timid measures. So please support plans that will provide improvements (even if those are minimal, as long as they are fit for purpose), while also adding in the suggestions that would make them better. And you can also use this list to point to plans in other local authorities, to show your council what can be done. If your council isn’t doing anything, ask them why they’re missing out on this opportunity to invest – Sustrans will even provide support if they’re struggling with resources. 

Crewe Road South lanes
Wand protected lanes along Crewe Road South in Edinburgh. Photo Iain Jack.

Writing emails and filling in consultation forms may not be as fun as pop-up protests or mass rides on Parliament but, in our still locked-down world, it’s the most effective thing that you can do right now.

Together we can make Scotland a (temporarily – but maybe, in time, permanently) cycle-friendly country.

Where does your council stand?

Aberdeen 

£1.76m in funding awarded. Plans include the pedestrianisation of shopping streets in city centres, some footway widening. Consultation on further measures via a Commonplace site.

Aberdeenshire 

£310k awarded. Plans emphasise space for pedestrians, with some possible road closures in Peterhead town centre. No online consultation, but discussions ongoing with community councils etc.

Angus 

£50k funding awarded. Plans ‘could include’ 20 mph limits, cycle tracks or wider footways, or selective road closures. No formal online consultation announced.
Updated! “Angus Council has made ambitious bids totalling £789k from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund aimed at supporting public health, active travel and road safety”.

Argyll and Bute 

No information on any plans

Borders Council 

Consultation process on possible measures started on the 18th June.

Clackmannanshire 

£145k awarded. Proposed measures could include street closures to create space for people queuing, possible parking suspensions, reduced speed limits and wider footways on rural roads, prohibiting drop offs near schools, closing car parks to create social meeting spaces. According to the council committee papers measures could include closure of main shopping streets in Alloa town centre.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar / Western Isles 

No information on any plans

Dumfries and Galloway 

£95k awarded, but no details available or consultation announced.

Dundee 

£450k awarded. Bid covered 20mph zones, closure of Union Street, traffic filters in areas of high cycling and pedestrian activity e.g. Douglas Terrace, Broughty Ferry Esplanade and Magdalen Green. They are now preparing a second bid and consulting with groups like the Dundee Cycling Forum.

East Ayrshire 

No information on any plans

East Dunbartonshire 

No information on any plans

East Lothian 

Have bid for £1.4m. Ran a consultation exercise (now closed) that got almost 3000 contributions and over 750 detailed comments.
Updated! Temporary measures will be introduced in: Musselburgh, Tranent, Haddington, Prestonpans, Dunbar and North Berwick, details here. In rural locations additional cycle racks will be installed at countryside sites including coastal car parks and new 20mph speed limits will be introduced in all towns..

East Renfrewshire 

£100k awarded so far. Taking a phased approach, with details here. Phase 1 is mainly parking restrictions and pavement widening and a popup cycle lane along Fenwick Road. Phase 2 includes strategic cycle corridors with light segregation alongside main roads, road closures and road space reallocation. Phase 3 includes looking at the Commonplace responses at the end of July to develop a wider active travel network, low traffic neighbourhoods and school zones, measures to help town centres recover. Phase 4 will look at permanent reallocation of road space and a refreshed local transport strategy. 

Edinburgh 

£5m awarded. Got off the ground quickly with initial temporary moves and its immediate measures include partial road closures, retiming signals to include an automatic green man and temporary segregated cycle lanes (e.g. Crewe Road South). Next phase includes Waverley Bridge and East Princes Street, with plans for footway widening and cycle segregation in local town centres to be shared from June 15. Arterial routes are being considered for design and notification to be completed by 31st July, along with low-traffic neighbourhoods, safe routes to schools and more local town centres. There’s a Commonplace site for more suggestions 

Falkirk 

No information on any plans although according to reports the council have submitted a bid.

Fife 

£2.42m awarded. The proposals are still being developed and will be shared more widely before being put in place. Proposals include extra pedestrian space, widened footpaths for access to public transport, pop-up cycle tracks and routes, speed reduction measures, behaviour change promotion to promote walking and cycling, adjustments to traffic signals, traffic priority and filtering systems. Short term travel infrastructure to be implemented by the end of July. More complex measures will be delivered in August and September. More information here

Glasgow 

£3.5m awarded. As well as the already completed Clyde Street pop-up bike lane and Kelvin Way filtering, there are three work streams: city centre (pretty much every street in the very centre of the city), neighbourhood space (mostly pavement widening) and active travel routes (light segregated cycle lanes on eight roads). There is also a Commonplace site for further suggestions.

Highland 

£750k awarded. Most of the cycling measures are in Inverness, including temporary cycle tracks using water-filled barriers, a new one-way system to make space for footpath widening and cycle lanes, temporary traffic lights and removal of barriers. Elsewhere there is a 20mph zone in Dingwall, and plans for wider pavements and parking suspensions in Aviemore, Fort William, Portree, Nairn and Wick. Very detailed consultation here.

Inverclyde 

£285k awarded. Just launched a Commonplace site

Midlothian 

£157k awarded. Their initial bid is to create 53km of cycle lanes for cyclists commuting into Edinburgh – just paint at the moment, combined with a lowering of speed limits to 40mph. They are inviting suggestions for a second bid – email SpacesforPeople@midlothian.gov.uk.
Update: A number of their proposals in the first bid did not receive funding although some have and will be going ahead. The second bid proposals now include a ban on vehicular traffic ban on three roads, the erection of cyclists dismount signs, a limited amount of path widening, and some signage outside schools, but sadly no re-allocation of road space outside schools with narrow footpaths to allow space for distancing.

Moray 

Considering road closures to make space outside businesses. There is a consultation document that businesses can download and fill in but nothing aimed at the wider public

North Ayrshire 

£100k awarded. No information on any plans

North Lanarkshire 

£567k awarded. Measures include filtering roads in Airdrie, Kilsyth and Motherwell. No announcements of further details or consultations.

Orkney 

No information on any plans

Perth and Kinross

£1.1m awarded. Measures include route signage and road markings, selective road closures, reallocating space to widen footways and create cycle tracks, temporary toucan crossings, reallocating parking, reducing speed limits, adding cycle parking and removing barriers and pinch points

Renfrewshire 

£37k awarded, but no details available or consultations announced.

Shetland 

No information on any plans

South Ayrshire 

No information on any plans

South Lanarkshire 

Updated! Awarded £1.2m for four projects. Plans include £50k on easing congestion at certain points along existing routes, £300k invested on initially temporary cycle segregation on roads into East Kilbride, £750k around schools including car-free school zones and £100k for town centre measures.

Stirling 

Local media reports that the council have applied, but no information on any plans on their website

TACTRAN (Tayside and Central Scotland Regional Transport Partnership)

£250k awarded but no details on their website. According to this tweet, it is to evaluate the work done by its constituent councils, Angus, Dundee,  Perth and Kinross, and Stirling.

West Dunbartonshire 

Launched a Commonplace site for suggestions.

West Lothian 

£600k awarded. Their bid covers localised footway widening and parking suspensions, introduction of walking and cycle friendly rural roads with speed limits reduced to 40mph, temporary advisory cycle lanes on a few roads in Broxburn, Linlithgow, Livingston and Blackridge. 20mph limits in all urban and rural towns, signage, footway and cycle track widening and clearance, spaces at bus stops and automatic green man phases at some controlled crossings. There was a survey for consultation but it’s closed.

Space for Distancing: What is your council doing?