On your bike: Cash boost to support walking and cycling

Funding will be used to create space to walk, wheel and cycle in Glasgow.

There will be more space to go for a stroll or get on your bike in Glasgow after the city secured a £4m cash boost to support physical distancing.

The funding will be used for the Spaces for People programme, which expands temporary travel infrastructure projects that provide extra space to walk, wheel and cycle as lockdown restrictions ease.

Since the beginning of lockdown in late March, Glasgow has seen almost 36km of extra cycle space introduced to the city, through pop up cycle lanes and the expansion of existing routes.

The latest boost from Sustrans Scotland brings the total amount awarded to Glasgow City Council to £7.5 million.

Councillor Anna Richardson, the council’s convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, told STV News the latest plans are expected to complement what has already been delivered.

The earliest projects saw Kelvin Way closed to traffic to facilitate access to Kelvingrove Park and the creation of a Clydeside pop-up cycle lane to ease physical distancing on nearby footways.

Councillor Richardson said: “Through this project we are making it easier for people to walk around in the city centre and in their neighbourhoods by widening pavements, by taking away the need to press a button when you get to a pedestrian crossing and we are making it a little bit easier for children going to school as well by putting in 21 new school car free zones.

“We’re also putting in pop up cycle lanes and this extra funding will allow us to expand that programme even further.”

Cycling campaigners have welcomed the changes to the city’s road layout.

Tricia Fort, campaigner for Go Bike, said: “It’s providing wide cycle lanes and they are separated from the traffic which is what we are looking for to encourage more people to cycle and to feel safe when they are doing so.”

She added: “There have been a couple of drawbacks with it, one is at junctions.

“We’ve had stories of motor vehicles cutting left across people in the cycle lanes.”

There are pop-up cycle lanes now in use on the Broomielaw, London Road, Great Western Road, Gorbals Street and Cumbernauld Road.

According to the city council, locations for future pop-ups will depend on suggestions made by the public via the Commonplace platform, with plans already under consideration for St Andrews Drive, Wallacewell Road and Edinburgh Road.

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