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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow's Making Spaces for People - Progress Update (Summer 2021)

Published: Summer 2021


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.

SFP: George Square Refresh 1

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.

Bilsland Drive complete cycle lane 1

What We've Delivered

City Centre:

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.

SFP: George Square Refresh 1

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. 

We have also implemented traffic light automation and touch-free pedestrian crossings, both of which remove the need to press the button to prompt the green man to display.  

Full details of all city centre projects delivered (and ongoing) can be found here.

Neighbourhood Space:

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.

Cardonald 1

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.

We have also assisted schools, with extra pavement space created outside Lourdes Primary School and Shawlands Primary School to ease pedestrian congestion at school drop off/pick up time.

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.

Kelvin Way revised complete Sept 2020

Work to deliver Quieter Neighbourhoods is now complete at Dennistoun, with further schemes at Pollokshields East (shown below) and Shawlands now in place. 

Pollokshields East image (AR)

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 DriveHawthorn StreetBrockburn RoadBraidcraft Road, Cambridge Street and Royston Road.

Broomielaw cycle lane complete 3

We have also improved existing cycle lanes on Corkerhill RoadClarence Drive  Wallacewell Road and Howard Street by making them mandatory and adding soft segregation.

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.

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.

Battlefield School Car Free Zone

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.

Future Work and Evaluation

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:

  • encouraging more people to switch to more sustainable ways of travelling such as walking, wheeling or cycling
  • supporting businesses by providing more space for people
  • improving air quality and reducing carbon dioxide emissions
  • improving road safety
  • improving health

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.


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