St Andrews to get funding for ‘physical distancing’

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Fife Council has been awarded £2.42M by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans Scotland to provide additional space for ‘physical distancing’ measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The application from Fife Council includes measures for St Andrews and was informed by a proposal from the Confederation of St Andrews Residents’ Associations (CSARA)  and another from St Andrews Space for Cycling (SASC), as previously reported by QV. (See table below for details of measures  included in Fife Council’s successful bid for funding).

The new Spaces for People fund, which was set up by the Scottish Government on 28 April 2020, aims to help Councils and other statutory bodies to implement measures that are focused on protecting public health and supporting physical distancing.

Throughout Fife, many communities will benefit from the new temporary infrastructure which will enable physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle. The measures will help active travel trips to schools, workplaces, shopping, health provision and for exercise.

Fife’s successful bid includes provision for measures such as extra pedestrian space, pop-up cycle tracks, speed reduction measures, behaviour change promotion, adjustments to traffic signals, traffic priority and filtering systems.

Convener of Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, Cllr Altany Craik commented: “We’re very pleased to have received this funding award which was made in consultation with our seven Area Conveners to ensure that local priorities and needs were included.  The funding will help provide measures which are focused on protecting public health and supporting physical distancing which will allow communities to function more easily as we ease out of lockdown.

Karen McGregor, Director of Sustrans Scotland, said: “It’s clear that people across Scotland want to do the right thing during the Coronavirus pandemic. They want to look after their physical and mental health.

“They  want to make sure that they are keeping to physical distancing guidelines while still being safe on our streets.

“Providing funding support to Fife Council through our Spaces for People programme will make it easier and safer for people to travel around Fife for essential travel and exercise as we transition out of lockdown.”

About Spaces for People

Funded by Transport Scotland and managed by Sustrans Scotland, 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.

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter


  1. For shops and businesses in St. Andrews, the lockdown has been harder than for some others, because it has included loss of income, with the accompanying worry about whether they will ever be able to open again.
    At the moment lockdown is being eased, the number of new cases of Covid19 are declining, and the sun is shining. Fife Council has decided to choose this moment to propose sweeping changes to the traffic routes in St. Andrews, ostensibly to give priority to bicycles and pedestrians, but in fact imposing difficulties on car drivers and those using public transport. SUSTRANS has agreed to provide £2.4 million to fund the changes. The proposals are in summary as follows:
    Closure of the West Port
    Closure of Bell Street and re-routing of buses
    Closure of Church Street and re-routing of buses
    Closure of Queens Gardens – currently a one-way street
    The introduction of ‘pop up’ cycle lanes is proposed
    Removal of parking in Market Street and South Street
    Removal of parking in Bell Street and Church Street
    Doubledykes Road and Argyle Street (misspelt) to become one-way
    St. Andrews has until recently had about 650,000 visitors annually. They are hardly likely to come if they cannot get near the shops, park and take their purchases back by car. The proposals have the potential to be an economic disaster for the town.
    Referring to Largo Road, the proposals say that there should be ‘an alternative route into town’. Where?
    As far as is known, there has been no consultation with St. Andrews bodies such as Community Council. Other Community Councils have been consulted and have given their opinions. They are not all in favour of what is proposed in their area.
    I am unhappy with these proposals for various reasons, not least because cyclists are much more likely than car drivers to flout the rules – some of them cycle the wrong way down one way streets such as Market Street, they cycle past cars which have stopped at zebra crossings, and they are generally less respectful of other traffic than car drivers. I wish that they could be required to have identification, as cars do, which would make it possible to penalise repeat offenders.
    I hope that everybody who has problems with the above proposals will send in a comment or objection to Fife Council. I believe the proposals would cause huge problems for the town, particularly as it seems that bus routes would also be moved out of the town centre. There is no mention of arrangements for weddings, funerals, development traffic, street cleaning lorries, or motor bikes, or for disabled residents, nor for restocking the shops.

    1. I fully endorse Ms Uprichard’s response.
      Town centre businesses are already struggling .
      Consider this ; If you imposed the same proposals to out of town retail shops; Morrison’s supermarket for example, asking them to close their car park (for public safety), reroute the buses and increase their rates, five fold to that of town centre shops, would this acceptable?
      Stop this lunacy !
      Support town centre businesses.
      Keep St Andrews open!

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