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Spaces for People

We're committed to making Fife a safer place to travel and exercise.

Through the Spaces for People programme, the sustainable transport charity Sustrans has awarded Fife Council £2.42 million in funding, to install temporary measures to help make it safer for people to walk, cycle or wheel for permitted journeys and exercise. It primarily aims to help people to adhere to ‘physical distancing’ guidelines during the Covid-19 restrictions and the transition out of lock-down.

We want people to have an awareness of the space around them. As well as temporary physical interventions, such as barriers and cordoned off areas, we want to encourage people to change their behaviour, if needed, to make roads safer for active and sustainable travel. There's also a very high numbers of cyclists and walkers sharing paths, so responsible behaviour is encouraged. ‘Pass with Care’ is the key message, making sure that plenty of space is available.

During the last few months, more people are cycling in Fife than ever before. We encourage people to support local traders and safely access services in town centres whilst still maintaining physical distancing.

The changes being introduced will enable us all to move around freely and safely, but also in a sustainable way. We want to help you look after your physical and mental health while still being safe in our public spaces.

Proposed projects

Typical interventions considered included:

  • Wider areas for pedestrians
  • Physical distancing markings where necessary
  • Pop-up cycle lanes
  • Traffic calming
  • Temporary 20mph speed limits
  • Filtering traffic or one-way systems
  • Road closures, possibly time limited to allow servicing of shops
  • Maximising access path widths
  • Surface integrity on new cycling/walking corridors
  • Automatic pedestrian sensors at signals, to limit contact by having to press buttons
  • Priority systems using signing for short lengths, or temporary signals for longer lengths of road
  • Temporary contra-flow cycle lanes
  • Soft measures: such as information campaigns on relevant issues such as the likelihood of pedestrians stepping onto the carriageway; vehicles passing to close to cyclists; pedestrians and cyclists sharing the same space, but in much greater numbers than was previously experienced
  • Extra crossings for pedestrians, or greater width on traffic islands to give the public greater space to stand when crossing traffic lanes

Not all the measures listed above were suitable for every area, so we worked with businesses and communities to find the best solution on an individual basis. As well as these changes, there was an increase in signs and notices to remind you of the need for physical distancing on our streets and open spaces.

Cycle route defects

Have you noticed any major defects when cycling on cycling routes in Fife? It could be bad surfaces, tree routes breaking paths or debris. If so, please let us know via email. We'll need the specific location details, including town, street, and a short description of the issue.

Similarly, if you are aware of any areas where there is an issue with physical distancing, please get in touch via email, at

What's going on in my town?

Our programme of works will be ongoing, as each project is approved. Please see below for the improvements planned in these areas:

Cupar and St Andrews - project review questionnaire

The questionnaire was available to residents in Fife, online or via a postal drop campaign, between March and June 2021. An additional attempt to boost trader responses was made in September.

The postal survey was targeted towards Cupar and St Andrews residents where Spaces for People (SfP) measures have been implemented. A random sample of 2,500 addresses were sent a paper survey from across the two towns (900 to Cupar and 1,600 to St Andrews).

The online survey was promoted via the project stakeholder groups, including community councils and the Business Improvement District. A total of 528 responses were received (209 by post).

*Based on postcodes provided.  Reponses with no postcodes were not included

Most respondents were from St Andrews (71%), with 8% coming from Cupar and 14% from the wider Fife area. This report focuses on St Andrews and Cupar residents and businesses owners and employees from across Fife.

In general, St Andrews residents were the most aware of the SfP measures and the most positive impacts, with 53% wanting to see them be made permanent. The Cupar residents are least aware of the measures and generally neutral about their effect.

Business owners and employees were the most critical group about the interventions, with 72% wanting them to be removed.

Please click on our Cupar and St Andrews survey results for more information.

Translations provided in:

Mandarin 法夫郡议会“Spaces for People”网站

Polish Strona internetowa Rady Hrabstwa Fife dotycząca programu „Spaces for People”

Romain Site-ul web al programului „Spaces for People” (Spaţiul destinat oamenilor) demarat de Consiliul din Fife

Arabic الموقع الإلكتروني لمجلس فايف (Fife) الخاص ببرنامج الأماكن المتوفرة للناس Spaces for People

BSL signed information video