To encourage connected walking, wheeling and cycling, whilst reducing or preventing access to through motor traffic in areas that that we know are routinely used as rat-runs or as a means to avoid main roads, we will be introducing temporary changes to the road layout in some of our city neighbourhoods.
Creating people-friendly (or low traffic) neighbourhoods through our Spaces for People programme, will make for quieter, calmer and more pleasant streets, where active travel is more appealing.
By adjusting the road layout, active travel is encouraged, whilst access to through motor traffic is reduced or prevented. Dependent upon requirements at each location, typical measures under the scheme are likely to include widened footways, contra-flow cycling facilities and no entry points/full road closures for motor vehicles.
Making changes in this way offers many benefits. Children can play out more, neighbours catch up, air pollution is lower, road safety improves; and walking, wheeling and cycling become a more natural choice for everyday journeys. Streets that were once noisy and polluted can become safer and more pleasant places to be.
For those with motor vehicles - it will still be possible to drive to your home or business where a scheme is implemented, as will visitors but you may need to take a slightly different route. Trade, taxi and delivery vehicles will still be able to access all addresses. The aim of making changes is to make the surrounding streets quieter, safer and more enjoyable with lower amounts of traffic, and fewer drivers using residential areas for quick short-cuts.
As Spaces for People measures are temporary, enabling the rapid implementation of infrastructure to help suppress COVID-19, plans to create low traffic neighbourhoods are agile and can be readily adjusted to suit location variables should the need arise. All Spaces for People infrastructure is expected to be in place for a minimum period of 10 weeks, and will be reviewed in line with the Scottish Government's COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making - Scotland's Route Map through and out of the crisis.
As mentioned, we have plans to introduce road layout changes in Denniston to make the streets more people-friendly. As the programme develops, further neighbourhoods will be identified where changes can be made to encourage connected walking, wheeling and cycling, whilst reducing or preventing access to motor traffic passing through.
These schemes will be delivered through our Spaces for People programme which is providing temporary walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure across the city to protect public health during COVID-19, by enabling safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise, in particular where there are space constraints or user safety concerns.
Providing short-term additional public space is also key to support business operation and recovery in both the city centre and at neighbourhood hubs by enabling safer access to shops and business premises, and the provision of queuing space. Longer term, and once restrictions begin to ease, it is anticipated that active travel will continue to be considered a safe and convenient mode of transport that benefits wellbeing and air quality.