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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow's Making Spaces for People - Progress Update (September 2020)

Published: 4 September 2020

Temporary measures to provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease, are being introduced Glasgow.

George Sq - southside

Suppressing the Spread of COVID-19

Supported by £7.5m funding from the Scottish Government administered by Sustrans Scotland, Glasgow's Spaces for People programme is seeing short-term travel infrastructure implemented in our city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes, forming a key part of the city's strategy for economic recovery.

Spaces for People is widening footways at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to shops, businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs. Consideration is also being given to the positioning of temporary strategic cycling routes to highlight active travel as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.

What We've Done So Far

City Centre:

A street-by-street approach is being taken, with temporary measures introduced to allow priority to be given to pedestrian space around our transport hubs, core shopping streets and any identified pedestrian pinch points.

Work completed so far includes footway widening around Glasgow Central Station High and Low Level entrances to provide additional queuing space, as well as footway widening and road closures in and around George Square.

A bus/cycle/taxi gate has been added to George Square (south) and South Frederick St (north), and a bus/cycle/taxi lane on Cochrane Street, to create sustainable transport corridors. This work was completed in tandem with pavement widening on Hope Street, Union Street and Bath Street and the build out into the road of temporary bus boarders to ensure continued accessibility onto and off, local service buses.

Footways have also been widened on Renfield Street and West George Street (between Wellington Street and Renfield Street) and to support students returning to college and university, extra space has also been created on Montrose Street.

Geo Sq 2 Sustrans

Other initiatives in the city centre to ease pedestrian movement include traffic light automation which removes the need to touch the button to prompt the green man to display.  The automated traffic lights will also where appropriate, be set to either minimise pedestrian waiting time or increase the duration the green man is displayed; with both adjustments made where possible.

Automated x-ing

Full details of temporary City Centre projects already in place, and ongoing can be found here.

Neighbourhood Space:

This workstream enables the temporary re-allocation of road space for physical distancing outside shops, and will primarily involve the removal of kerbside parking.

Cardonald 1

To date, we have widened footways in busy neighbourhood areas around Easterhouse, Cardonald (shown above), Tollcross, Parkhead, Cessnock, Shawlands, Bridgeton, Partick (Dumbarton Rd) and Finnieston.

Future work will be undertaken in Berryknowes, Byres Road, Cathcart, Croftfoot, Gorbals, Govan, Duke Street, Possilpark, Shettleston and Springburn.

We have also reconfigured the road layout on Kelvin Way that balances the provision of extra space for walkers, wheelers and cyclists whilst enabling vehicular access into the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Full details of temporary Neighbourhood Space projects already in place, and ongoing can be found here.

Active Travel Routes:

This workstream looks to create temporary cycling infrastructure that encourages active travel to be considered as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.

So far we have created temporary pop-up cycle lanes at Broomielaw, Dumbreck Road, London Road (Phase 1 and Phase 2), Great Western Road (Duntreath Avenue to Lincoln Avenue), Gorbals Street, Cumbernauld Road, Provanmill Road, Bilsland Drive and Hawthorn Street. We have also improved existing cycle lanes on Corkerhill Road by fitting soft segregation.

Broomielaw SFD

Other related initiatives include the provision of cycle parking at 50 new locations, such as in George Square and an expansion of Glasgow's popular cycle hire scheme operated by nextbike.

To further encourage the uptake of active travel, the first 30 minutes of standard nextbike cycle hire is currently at no cost to the hirer. Available until March 2020, this free hire offer is funded by Transport Scotland through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme. More details can be found here.

Full details of temporary Active Travel Routes already in place and ongoing can be found here.

Future Plans

Continuing on from the measures implemented to date, future plans for the Spaces for People programme will include:

  • Further targeted widening of footways
  • Expansion of pop-up cycle lanes
  • Improving the look and feel of temporary measures
  • Park and Pedal/Stride satellite car parks
  • Expansion of no-touch pedestrian crossings
  • Vegetation trimming where access is narrowed
  • Expansion of School Car Free Zones:

Following a sucessful trial that has seen significant reductions in traffic around the six primary schools involved, plans are being developed to introduce car free zones around a further 21 city primary schools.

More details about the schools involved and the way the scheme operates can be found here.

School Car Free Zone

Suggestions for Spaces for People

In collaboration with Sustrans Scotland, we made available a Commonplace Mapping Tool which enabled users to highlight 'pinch points' across the city centre and neighbourhoods, where emergency temporary measures such as pavement widening and new cycle lanes could be introduced to help people maintain physical distancing and suppress a resurgence of the virus.

The platform closed on 10 July 2020 after being open for suggestions for several weeks. 

Over 16,000 contributions were received and these will be used to inform future Spaces for People plans as COVID-19 restrictions ease, with temporary interventions prioritised that offer the greatest benefit to public health, balances the needs of all users, and can be delivered in a short timeframe. Updates will follow as soon as possible.


Every effort will be made to ensure the needs of disabled people are fully considered in the planning and delivery of Spaces for People measures, and the project team will endeavour to ensure that these reflect the considerations identified in the recent briefing paper issued by the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) as well as taking existing guidance into account in their design.



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