St Andrews town centre will see increased space for pedestrians with the installation of temporary measures by the end of September to help people to safely maintain 'social distancing', in keeping with government requirements around Covid-19.
This is part of a range of temporary measures that are being put in place across the region by Fife Council to help people to safely social distance and to walk, wheel and cycle more.
The main through traffic routes will be maintained within the town centre, and there will be a reduction in on-street parking in some areas to provide greater space for pedestrians. Greater space for pedestrians and shoppers will be achieved by putting barriers at the edge of the roadside/parking area.
The new measures are programmed to be installed at the end of September and will be formed using temporary water filled barriers that are easily adjusted to allow alternative layouts, should the need arise. To assist those with mobility problems, ramps will be installed to aid ease of travel and new seating areas will also be added, where suitable.
The interventions are possible because of Fife Council's successful bid for £2.42million to the Scottish Government's 'Spaces for People' fund, managed by Sustrans, which is focused on making essential travel and exercise safer. The fund has already enabled work to be carried out in and around St Andrews to maximise the available widths of paths by clearing vegetation and overgrowth at a number of sites.
Convener of Fife Council's Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, Cllr Altany Craik, said: “Spaces for people is improving both walking and cycling routes and areas of highest footfall, such as outside shops and services, to enable people to follow government guidelines and help to keep everyone safe. We want to help Fifers to be active to look after their physical and mental health while still being safe on our streets.
“Economic recovery is at the forefront of the Spaces for People programme and the new temporary measures being installed will provide space to help protect public health and support physical distancing.
“Many of us have already changed our transport habits by walking, cycling and wheeling more for exercise or essential journeys – Spaces for People is making it easier for us to do this.”
Spaces for People is also making the local testing centre at the Victory Memorial Hall in St Andrews more accessible.
Dr Margaret Hannah FFPH, Locum Consultant in Public Health, NHS Fife added: "A key principle for Test and Protect programme is that testing must be accessible for all segments of society. Whilst home testing is an option for people without transport, evidence suggests local testing sites are a useful option for those who don't drive. The Local Testing Centre at the Victory Memorial Hall in St Andrews is the first of its kind in Scotland. It is available for people with Covid symptoms - a new continuous cough, a fever or a loss of the sense of smell or taste. Like other UK testing sites, it is still important to book ahead when full instructions are given to attend safely."
The Spaces for People programme is helping Fifers to:
- Physically distance and to move around safely in public spaces during COVID-19.
- Safely physical distance when walking, cycling and wheeling in your area.
- Spend time and spend money locally.
- Cycle and walk, which are healthier alternatives and help cut carbon emissions and so improve air quality.
Find out more about the wider changes that are helping local people through Spaces for People