Temporary travel infrastructure that provides additional public space for walking, wheeling and cycling during COVID-19 has been introduced across Glasgow, with remaining programme measures due to be completed soon.
Supported by funding from the Scottish Government administered by Sustrans Scotland, Glasgow's Spaces for People programme has delivered short-term measures 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 has widened footways at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to shops, businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs. Temporary strategic cycling routes have also been implemented to help present active travel as a convenient and viable choice for journeys such as commuting, as well as for physical exercise.
A street-by-street approach has been adopted, with temporary measures introduced to allow priority to be given to pedestrian space around our transport centres, core shopping streets and any identified pedestrian pinch points.
Work completed to date 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, including North Hanover Street at Queen St station. A bus/cycle/taxi gate has also been added to George Square (south) and South Frederick St (north), and a bus/cycle/taxi lane on Cochrane Street to speed up journeys and support sustainable transport.
Footway widening around core streets within the city centre was also implemented last year at locations including Hope Street, Union Street and Bath Street as well as Renfield Street and West George Street. Extra space has also been created on Montrose Street to support students.
Following a period of monitoring and review earlier this year, the footway widening barriers have now been removed at the majority of locations apart from around George Square and the train stations. Instead, work is almost complete to install more attractive infrastructure such as that now complete in the Merchant City and George Square which will make it easier to maintain physical distancing as lockdown restrictions ease, and footfall in our city centre increases. Complementary work is also expected shortly around St Vincent Place and Queen Street.
Other initiatives to ease pedestrian movement in the city centre include the installation of temporary bus boarders - with the first ones installed on Glassford Street outside Marks and Spencer, and at Trongate next to Tesco Express. This infrastructure extends the footway out into the road, ensuring continued accessibility onto public transport whilst providing extra space for pedestrians at noted pinch points.
Full details of all city centre projects delivered (and ongoing) can be found here.
This element of the programme has freed up pedestrian space where it's most needed such as outside local shops, and has primarily been achieved through the removal of kerbside parking.
We initially widened footways at Easterhouse, Cardonald, Tollcross, Parkhead, Cessnock, Shawlands, Bridgeton, Partick (Dumbarton Rd), Finnieston and Byres Road. Whilst some of the footway widening measures have since been removed following a period of monitoring and review, the infrastructure can be readily reinstated should the need arise. This flexible approach also applies to other areas such as Berryknowes, Cathcart, Croftfoot, Gorbals, Govan, Duke Street, Possilpark, Shettleston and Springburn - with detailed plans already drawn up for these areas which can be mobilised quickly if required.
Changes were also made to the road layout on Kelvin Way to balance the provision of extra space for walkers, wheelers and cyclists whilst enabling vehicular access into the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - see Sustrans' video of how locals are enjoying the new space.
Full details of temporary Neighbourhood Space projects can be found here.
Active Travel Routes:
This workstream has created temporary cycling infrastructure that encourages active travel to be considered as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.
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, Hawthorn Street, Brockburn Road, Braidcraft Road, Cambridge Street and Royston Road.
Full details of temporary Active Travel Routesin place can be found here.
School Car Free Zones:
Following a sucessful trial in 2019 that saw significant reductions in traffic around the six primary schools involved, Spaces for People funding has enabled the council to introduce on a temporary basis, a further 20 School Car Free Zones. The zones are designed to prohibit cars and other vehicles from driving up to school gates at peak times each weekday during term time.
More details about the schools involved and the way the scheme operates can be found here.
Improved Access to Parks and Open Space:
We have increased signage within our parks and providing wayfinding on routes to help ease physical distancing, along with vegetation clearance to remove obstructions on public footways.
Increased Pedestrian Priority at Junctions:
An early Spaces for People intervention saw the need for pedestrians to use the push buttons at crossings eliminated to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This popular measure which is now in operation at over 50 sets of lights is being rolled out more widely throughout the city.
An online Spaces for People survey closed on 20 June 2021 after six weeks. The survey sought views on the infrastructure delivered and whether any should be retained permanently. Over 3,700 responses were received.
We consulted because Spaces for People projects have the potential to help deliver other outcomes unrelated to the pandemic such as:
Survey responses will help us better understand public opinion on Spaces for People projects, and to gauge which measures people wish to see retained or removed. Feedback from survey respondents on which measures have worked well, and which perhaps less so, will also be taken on board by the council to help shape future active travel infrastructure planning.
All survey responses received will feed into a monitoring and review process agreed with Sustrans Scotland which will include the appointment of an independent consultant to consider the infrastructure delivered and make recommendations on which should be kept.
This review will take place in the summer and a report presented to the City Administration Committee thereafter.
Every effort has been 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 has endeavoured to ensure that these reflect the considerations identified in the briefing paper issued by the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) as well as taking existing guidance into account in their design.