You will hopefully be aware of Spaces for People (SfP); a new, temporary infrastructure programme in Scotland offering funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise during Covid-19. SfP is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland.
SfP aims to enable statutory bodies to implement measures focused on protecting public health, supporting physical distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak.
Aberdeen City Council
Link to Media Release – https://news.aberdeencity.gov.uk/new-physical-distancing-measures-to-make-city-centre-safe/ (29th May)
Link to Online Consultation – https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning/physical-distancing/ (opened 29th May, ends 30th September) *GCP COMMITTEE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO TAKE PART IN THIS CONSULTATION, TO MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD AND YOUR VIEWS RECORDED*
GCP have been invited by ACC to be part of a group to bring together Transport Users and Operators to try and ensure they get as many views as they can on all the proposed measures.
Others invited to this group, in addition to officers from across several teams within the council, are representatives from CTC Grampian, Aberdeen Cycle Forum, First Aberdeen, Stagecoach, MACS ((Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland), North East Sensory Services and Shopmobility Aberdeen. This group will meet at least fortnightly for the foreseeable future.
In addition, the council have stated they will share information on proposals as the SfP measures begin to take shape across Aberdeen. GCP Committee have already been provided sight of plans for the second phase of the city centre works. Our response, which has been provided to the city council, is provided below;
Link to Media Releases – https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsID=5819 (12th June)
GCP will continue to be involved as these plans develop across, initially at least, a few of the town centres across Aberdeenshire.
Note: there may be other applications for SfP funding to follow across the North East, indeed both City and Shire Councils can reapply for additional support should they consider it necessary. Watch this space…
Lastly, the Spaces for People measures cannot be everything to all people, some might be in place for weeks, whereas others might be in place for many months. We will all learn as this process, which is progressing at a tremendous pace, however we must not lose sight of the fact of why these measures are needed; so we can ALL move about more safely and with increased confidence as we hopefully soon return to some semblance of normality with the phased reopening, with obvious conditions and restrictions, of more shops, businesses and workplaces.
For us, it is about much, much more than the bike, car, van, bus or lorry… as the name suggests, it is about people.