COUNCIL bosses have been awarded £3.5 million to create spaces for people and develop pedestrian routes and cycle paths.

The money, from Sustrans Scotland, will be used to create temporary travel infrastructure in the city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes, and will form a key part of the city’s strategy for economic recovery.

This funding award follows on from the recent closure of Kelvin Way to vehicles, and the creation of the Clydeside cycle lane which runs from Saltmarket to the Clyde Arc.

Council leader Susan Aitken said; “While we are planning a long-term recovery and renewal for Glasgow’s economy, it is also vital that we consider the short-term measures we need to take to manage our road network differently – now, and as lockdown restrictions are eased.

“From reconfiguring our roads and footways to provide extra space for pedestrians, mobility and wheelchair users to the creation of temporary cycle lanes; different combinations will be considered to fit the needs and characters of different neighbourhoods, as well as our city centre.

“I’m delighted that our bid to Sustrans Scotland was successful, meaning we can move forward at pace with our plans to implement physical distancing measures, making essential travel and exercise safer during COVID-19.

“These changes can also be a catalyst to encourage more and more of us to consider sustainable travel as a viable long term choice that not only benefits our economy and our environment but also our health and wellbeing too.”

Space for Distancing will see footways widened at pinch points to help people walk around and have 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 a commuting choice.

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.

Karen McGregor, Director of Sustrans Scotland, said; “It’s clear that people across Scotland want to do the right thing during Coronavirus.

"They want to look after their physical and mental health.

“They also want to make sure that they are keeping to physical distancing guidelines while still being safe on our streets.

“Providing funding support to Glasgow City Council through our Spaces for People programme will make it easier and safer for Glaswegians to travel around their city for essential travel and exercise.”