Temporary measures to provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place are being introduced across the city.
Short-term travel infrastructure will be implemented in our city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes, and will form a key part of the city's strategy for economic recovery. These measures will help to ensure sufficient space on footways for businesses and their customers while the requirement for 2 metres of physical distancing between people remains in place.
Space for Distancing will see footways widened at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to community facilities and public transport hubs. Consideration will also be given to the positioning of temporary strategic cycling routes to highlight cycling as an attractive, viable commuting choice.
Glasgow has been at the forefront of the push for temporary footpaths and cycle ways, which recently led to the Scottish Government announcing a package of support for such measures.
Kelvin Way has been closed to vehicle traffic since 2 May 2020, to allow greater space for people undertaking daily exercise in and around Kelvingrove Park. In addition, the new Clydeside pop-up cycle lane which was completed on 16 May 2020, provides a lane for cyclists travelling west, and runs for 1.5miles between Saltmarket and the Clyde Arc.
Both Kelvin Way and the Clyde Walkway have been used by many people using the current exercise exemption to staying at home, and concerns had been expressed about the ability to follow the 2-metre physically distant rule in these places.
Additional public space for physical distancing is also considered to be a key component in the economic recovery of the city. Wider pavements and paths will help to enable safer access to shops and business premises.
Areas with high pedestrian footfall such as Byres Road, Partick, Shawlands, Maryhill and Dennistoun have already been identified as places where short-term measures can be introduced. Other neighbourhood hubs such as Pollok, Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk will also be examined for suitability.
Longer term, and once restrictions begin to ease, it is anticipated that walking and cycling will continue to be considered a safe and convenient mode of transport that benefits health and air quality.
Our Space for Distancing programme has been awarded £3.5 million from Sustrans Scotland to support the introduction of temporary physical distancing measures across the city.
Funded by Transport Scotland and administered by Sustrans Scotland, Spaces for People offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during COVID-19.
Following the announcement on 26 May 2020 that the initial £10m funding pot will be extended to £30m, the council intends to submit a further bid to the fund.