A £1.1million bid for funding to increase post-lockdown safety in Perth and Kinross has been approved.
Administered by Sustrans, the grant from the Spaces for People Fund will enable a series of proposals aimed at improving the lot of pedestrians and cyclists and maintaining physical distancing.
Many of the measures are temporary but Perth and Kinross Council says there is scope for permanence if they “are considered useful”.
They include a range of increased safety measures such as additional signage and road markings, reduced speed limits, footway widening to provide additional pedestrian space and temporary cycle lanes and cycle segregation.
The new measures will impact Aberfeldy, Alyth, Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Bridge of Earn, Comrie, Coupar Angus, Crieff, Dunkeld, Kinross, Milnathort, Perth, Pitlochry, and Scone.
Executive Director of Housing and Environment at Perth and Kinross Council, Barbara Renton said: “The aim behind our approach is to provide, as far as possible, COVID-safe streets and pedestrian areas as the current lockdown begins to be relaxed in the locations we were successful in getting funding for.
“While many of the measures are proposed as temporary, we have the option to make them permanent if they are considered useful and supportive by our communities in the longer term.”
Director of Sustrans Scotland, Karen McGregor believes the measures are necessary to accommodate “easier” and “safer” travel across the area.
She says people across the country want to ensure they are complying with social distancing guidelines.
She said: “It’s clear that people across Scotland want to do the right thing during Coronavirus. They want to look after their physical and mental health.
“They also want to make sure that they are keeping to physical distancing guidelines while still being safe on our streets.
“Providing funding support to Perth and Kinross Council through our Spaces for People programme will make it easier and safer for people to travel around Perth and the local area for essential travel and exercise.”
The council’s successful funding bid is said to be enough to “fully cover the costs” of the proposals, without the need to source other funding elsewhere to supplement it.
Leader of Perth and Kinross Council, Murray Lyle said: “I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has brought forward expenditure for sustainable travel to the current financial year and our bid for £1.1 million of Sustrans Spaces for People funding has been accepted.”
Having secured it, the council says its next step will be to engage in further discussions with community councils, businesses and the public about their plans.
The full plans can be seen here.