Graham Simpson welcomes South Lanarkshire's £1.2M Spaces For People grant

Central Scotland MSP, Graham Simpson welcomes South Lanarkshire’s plans for their newly received Spaces for People grant of £1.2 million for four projects. 

South Lanarkshire Council has provided details surrounding their four Spaces for People projects with the goal of creating safe spaces for people to walk, cycle and wheel in and around South Lanarkshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

Spaces for People is a temporary infrastructure programme focused on protecting public health, supporting physical distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak.

The Route Enhancement and Expansion project in South Lanarkshire will see £0.05m spent on specific areas where congestion takes place at certain points along existing cycling and walking routes, especially at entrances to public parks, green spaces, and other points of interest

The Active Travel Network, Pinchpoints project will see £0.3m invested in temporary measures on roads including Torrance Road, Brousterhill, Cornwall Street and Churchill Avenue in East Kilbride. This will provide initially temporary cycle segregation to the town centre from the West Mains and Village areas to allow essential journeys to be made safely

The School Outdoor Environment and Spaces for People project will see £0.75m invested in temporary measures including road closures, car free school zones, barriers, carriageway lining, temporary markings, and signs. Pedestrian one-way systems will also be considered as well as reallocation of road space, alternative drop-off facilities and other suitable measures including behavioural change publicity. 

As restrictions continue to ease and more retail, food and business establishments open the £0.1m Town Centres and Spaces for People project will see a variety of interventions including behavioural change publicity, communications campaign, temporary signage, barriers, lining and markings and reallocation of road space. 

Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative shadow communities secretary said:

“It is clear that the way we travel, work, spend time with each other and enjoy our urban spaces have been changed by the pandemic and it’s encouraging to see council’s making good use of government infrastructure funding. 

“I welcome South Lanarkshire Council’s Spaces for People plans in envisioning how the region can have the resilience to deal with the challenges of ensuring people have safe space to physical distance and a more sustainable and less polluting way to get around the city.

"Delivering temporary measures to change South Lanarkshire’s streetscape during the coronavirus crisis is sorely needed however, it is vital that local councils help people to maintain their newly-formed healthy habits, and work to ensure that these temporary infrastructure enhancements are made permanent. 

“I’m encouraged to see so many people out cycling and walking for their daily exercise and this funding will make the great outdoors even more accessible.”