With increasing numbers of people walking and cycling during the coronavirus pandemic, Angus Council is looking to secure funding from Scottish Government’s Spaces for People funding to make those journeys safer and easier.
Announced at the end of April, the £10 million Spaces for People funding is designed to help councils make journeys safer for those cycling and walking during and in recovery from the coronavirus outbreak. The criteria includes providing temporary walking and cycling infrastructure to help protect public health by enabling safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise for everyone.
To prepare for the bid, the council is currently working in collaboration with the Angus Community Planning Partnership and across services to consider the demand and need that would help in making social distancing easier for those walking and cycling and would meet the Spaces for People criteria. The initial priority identified is for journeys to and from schools and hospitals/health services, and journeys to shops and pharmacies in our High Streets across Angus. They will also be looking at the benefits to other paths and routes across Angus, including journeys for exercise.
Angus Council’s Communities Convener Councillor Mark Salmond said: “This funding is specifically for temporary measures we can make immediately to enable more active travel and to make our streets safer. We also have funding available through Transport Scotland’s cycling, walking and safer routes for a longer term programme of work and we are looking to get ideas on what could be done to make Angus a cycle and walking friendly area. If you or your community group or organisation has any ideas please send them to ROADS@angus.gov.uk by Friday 22 May 2020.”
The temporary infrastructure measures could include introducing 20mph speed limits and reallocating road space for wider footways or cycle tracks or selective road closures to allow people to walk or cycle in a safer environment and to promote opportunities to help town centres recover as lockdown measures are eased and places adapt to be safe for work, business and leisure.
The council is also preparing an initial bid to Sustrans for the Spaces for People fund for the appointment of a consultant to undertake necessary feasibility studies and options appraisals, before bidding for specific projects.