Spaces for People bid

Spaces for People bid Image

COUNCIL CHIEFS have submitted three projects, including temporary 20mph zones, to the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People Fund.

The new temporary infrastructure programme offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk or cycle for commuting, essential trips and exercise over the coming months.

Dundee City Council is looking for financial backing to introduce 20mph zones in central Broughty Ferry, the Perth Road area, Douglas and Fintry; closure of Union Street to vehicular traffic; and temporary barriers, signage and filters to reduce through traffic in areas where there are high levels of pedestrian and cycling activity eg Douglas Terrace, Broughty Ferry Esplanade and Magdalen Green.

Alan Ross convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: β€œWe have pulled these initial proposals together quickly trying to reflect not only our desire to increase more active ways of travel, but also to balance that with keeping the city moving, even in lockdown.

β€œIf our bid is successful I hope that the new temporary measures encourage more people to use more sustainable modes of transport to get about, not just in the current circumstances but also as we move into a new normal.”

Kevin Cordell the council’s cycling spokesperson added: β€œI am grateful to the Dundee Cycling Forum for their ideas and would like to think that existing cyclists will welcome these first bids that we are putting forward.

β€œMy hope is that not only will they use these routes more, but that it will also inspire an increasing number of people to take their daily exercise or commute by bike. The bike shops are doing great business at the moment and I would really like to see that continue.”

In total the council is looking for Β£460,000 from the fund, the bulk of which will be spent on the 20mph zones, with Β£20,000 to close Union Street to vehicular traffic and Β£40,000 for through traffic reduction on various routes.

Meanwhile members of the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board have been told that after professional investigations and consultation it would not be feasible to make changes to the lay out and operations of the bridge under the Spaces for People scheme.

Lynne Short, board chair said: β€œAfter officers gave careful consideration to how we might implement measures on the bridge focused on protecting public health, supporting physical distancing and preventing a second wave of the Coronavirus outbreak it just isn’t possible.

β€œOur first consideration has to be the safety of all bridge users and making temporary physical changes to the structure, no matter how well intentioned, carried too much risk.

β€œFor example the walkway is 2.3m wide so it’s too narrow to be able to effectively segregate pedestrians and cyclists and there is no practical way it could be widened or physically altered.

β€œPlus the existing vehicle parapet would not protect cyclists in everyday use and cones or other physical barriers on the inside lanes would hamper safe bridge operations

β€œI am always supportive of improving people’s health, the environment and opportunities for active travel but in this case it is better that we let our local councils bid for the funds so that they can be used safely and effectively.”

A decision on the bid to the fund, which is administered by Sustrans, is expected within a few days.

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