The Spaces for People programme, administered by Sustrans Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, offered funding to help local authorities across the country to put in place temporary measures to enable physical distancing and further increase safety while walking, wheeling and cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
West Lothian Council successfully sought £641,500 funding for nine packages of projects and initiatives following online engagement with the public. The remaining phases will culminate local measures with councils across the country adopting similar measures.
The introduction of new temporary 20mph speed limits in towns and villages in West Lothian has now been completed with all limits now enforceable by Police Scotland. A small number of signage anomalies have now been rectified and work has been completed to replace or repair vandalised signage.
Vegetation clearance works on cycle paths and footways will be completed next week. Over-grown foliage on the National Cycle Route 75 has been removed with the full path width reinstated.
Physical distancing signage in towns and villages has been rolled out reminding people of the importance of physical distancing on footways. There are banners still to be erected on guard railing at congested areas primarily around schools which will be completed shortly.
The installation of temporary 40mph speed limit signage on the Bathgate Hills to Winchburgh area, Bonnytoun Road in Linlithgow and the Harburn rural road area commenced this week. These works will allow the change from the de-restricted speed limit of 60mph to a temporary speed limit of 40mph which will provide a safer environment for all users.
From 26 October work will commence on the introduction of physical distancing measures at some of the more heavily used bus stops and narrow footways within towns and villages.
Work to take place includes:
Provision of more space at busy or congested bus stops:
- Linlithgow, A803 High Street at The Cross - 3 bus stops;
- Linlithgow, A803 Blackness Road at Tesco - 1 bus stop;
- Bathgate, A89 South Bridge Street at St David House - 1 bus stop;
- Bathgate, A89 King Street at old train station - 3 bus stops;
- Bathgate (rural), A89 at Tesco Distribution Centre - 2 bus stops;
- Broxburn, A899 East Main Street at Scotmid - 2 bus stops;
- Whitburn, A705 East Main Street at Whitburn Cross - 1 bus stop;
- West Calder, A71 East End at the Post Office - 1 bus stop;
- Kirknewton, Main Street at The Green Room - 1 bus stop;
- Bathgate, A89 South Bridge Street at Farmfoods - 1 bus stop;
- Uphall, East Main Street outside Aldo's Fish Bar - 1 bus stop;
- Broxburn, East Main Street opposite Thomas Brown - 1 bus stop; and
- Broxburn, East Main Street outside Post Office 1 bus stop.
Provision of more space at narrow footways:
- Linlithgow High Street;
- West Calder Main Street;
- Mid Calder, Market Street / Bank Street;
- East Calder, Main Street;
- Kirknewton, Station Road; and
- Kirknewton, Main Street at Smithy Brae.
Suspension of footway parking to provide more footway space:
- Linlithgow High Street - footway parking from property numbers 35 to 57.
Curtailment of footway parking to provide more footway space:
- Linlithgow High Street - footway parking from property numbers 183 to 245.
Following on from these works will be the introduction of on-street advisory cycle lanes which have been identified in Linlithgow, Broxburn and Blackridge. This will be the final package of work to be completed as part of the council's Spaces for People programme.
Executive councillor for the environment Tom Conn said: "These temporary measures being adopted in West Lothian are in similar nature to those being adopted across the country as part of a national effort to make it easier for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential journeys and exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to note that these measures are temporary but hopefully they will increase the ability of people to maintain a safe physical distance and give people increased confidence when travelling throughout West Lothian."