Published: 28th APRIL 2020

Spaces for People: Making essential travel and exercise safer during Covid-19

Spaces for People is a new, temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland which offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during Covid-19.

People walking and cycling on a road whilst social distancing

The Spaces for People programme is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland.

It aims to enable statutory bodies to implement measures focused on protecting public health, supporting physical distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak.

As of 3rd July 2020, the Spaces for People fund is now closed. Please see 'Apply for the Spaces for People fund' below for more information.

How Sustrans can support you

The fund is open to statutory bodies and we anticipate the majority of applicants will be from planning and roads authorities.

It will provide funding and, if needed, additional support services.

Support can be tailored to meet applicant needs to help speed up delivery, making it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips during Covid-19.

It could include:

Find out more about our support offer.

In partnership with Atkins, we have also developed design guidance aimed at supporting partners with the implementation of temporary active travel facilities in Scotland. 

Guiding principles for temporary measures

Spaces for People is designed to improve health and wellbeing so that everyone is able to move around their local area safely while keeping to physical distancing requirements as we transition through and out of the Covid-19.

Fresh air and being outdoors is not only positive for physical health, but it can help to reduce stress and support our mental health.

Walking, cycling or wheeling in the local area helps people feel connected in times of isolation, and can allow communities discover their neighbourhood

Assessment Criteria

All applications will be assessed against the following criteria.

Protecting public health

Provide temporary walking and cycling infrastructure that helps to protect public health.

It will enable safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise for everyone, in particular where there are space constraints or user safety concerns.

Essential journeys

Projects should focus on essential journeys including:

  • to and from hospitals and health services.
  • to shops, pharmacies and schools for key workers.
  • for recommended exercise, for example, neighbourhoods and local parks.

Immediate delivery

Projects should be delivered quickly and provide a visible improvement that has an immediate benefit.


Apply for the Spaces for People fund

We have closed our portal to any new applications. 


Find out more

Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Spaces for people. Or, please get in touch to discuss a temporary measure for your local area.

Find out how other towns and cities have been making walking and cycling safer during covid-19.

Email us on



Sustrans' support offer to Spaces for People applicants

We could offer a range of tailored support to help applicants to Spaces for People deliver quick and meaningful temporary infrastructure that protects public health and enables safe physical distancing. 

Below is an overview of the areas in which we could support you.

For each area, we could assist you with it or where needed undertake it when completed on your behalf.

Please get in touch with our Spaces for People team if you would like to find out more about any of the following areas.


We could undertake procurement on your behalf or assist you with any stage of the process.

This could include the management of tender processes to support the appointment of external design, construction and specialist services, and support with ordering and arranging delivery of materials to get interventions on the ground.

Identifying where infrastructure is needed

We could assist with identifying locations where temporary infrastructure is needed in your area, linked to existing networks that best supports essential journeys and exercise.

For example, we have supported some partners by creating a comprehensive map of footways and footway widths to help inform their actions to increase space for people on foot.

Design and Implementation Service

We could comment on designs or produce designs for you.

This could include concept design alongside technical feasibility and investigations, development of preliminary and detailed design documents, support across the Traffic Regulation Order’s processes and the necessary audits for proposals.

We could provide advice on the types of temporary infrastructure that could be used and share examples.

We could also put you in touch with specialist advice, such as from the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland.

They have produced a briefing note to help ensure the mobility needs of disabled people are fully considered in temporary infrastructure.

Construction Contract Management and Monitoring

This could include:

  • management of tender process to appoint a contractor
  • the management of the appointed contractor for the duration of construction and snagging phase
  • site supervision for the duration of the works
  • post-construction monitoring including remedial designs and improvements based on ongoing review and appraisals. 

Public Engagement and Feedback

We could assist with gathering public feedback about temporary measures people would like to be implemented.

We could provide an online mapping tool (using the Commonplace platform) and support to manage it on your behalf in partnership with you.

This includes collating feedback with recommendations for you to consider as part of planning temporary infrastructure.  

We can also help with the management of communications for Traffic Regulation Orders, including TTRO’s and ETRO’s.

Sustrans has also launched Space To Move across the UK, which aims to capture public feedback on temporary interventions across the UK.

Research and Monitoring

We are keen to monitor and evaluate temporary interventions to find out more about issues including safety, user behaviour and driver behaviour.

Support could include developing a short monitoring and evaluation plan, installing cameras and the analysis and evaluation of data.

Knowledge sharing

We are setting up a series of online presentations and workshops to share learning across local authorities on the quick delivery of temporary infrastructure.

Please email if you would like to take part.

Spaces for People awards by Organisation

Lead Organisation

Awarded amount

In assessment


(to be assessed – further bids)

Total amount

Glasgow City Council





City of Edinburgh Council




Dundee City Council





Fife Council




The Highland Council




Aberdeen City Council




East Lothian Council




Perth and Kinross Council





South Lanarkshire Council




Scottish Borders Council




North Lanarkshire Council




East Renfrewshire Council




Argyll & Bute Council





NHS Grampian




Angus Council





Renfrewshire Council





West Lothian Council




Dumfries and Galloway Council




Inverclyde Council





East Ayrshire Council




Stirling Council




South Ayrshire Council




West Dunbartonshire Council





North Ayrshire Council





Clackmannanshire Council




Aberdeenshire Council











Midlothian Council





NHS Lanarkshire








Falkirk Council




Comhairle nan Eilean Siar








Moray Council


£ 500,000



NHS Lothian












Walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid-19 in Scotland

We've teamed up with Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland and various active travel organisations in Scotland to provide a summary of things to consider when walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid-19.

Take a look at the summary
People practicing physical distancing on Bruntsfield Place following Spaces for People interventions

The health benefits of creating Spaces for People

Public Health Scotland has produced a briefing on the short and long-term impact Spaces for People interventions can have on our health and wellbeing.

Take a look at the briefing.


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