Living Streets has secured funding from Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport to study changes to streets associated with new active travel infrastructure.

The two year research project will see Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking work with highway authorities, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, disabled people and the organisations that represent them. It will consider how well existing guidance works for different road users and provide advice on where it can be strengthened to help meet everyone’s needs.

Image of a bus in a bus stop

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland said:

“We are delighted to embark on this research into modern street design. Streets are changing to make walking, wheeling and cycling safer, but it’s important this is done in an inclusive way. In the past, new aspects of street design, such as bus stop bypasses and continuous footways, have been a concern for certain groups.

“This funding will allow us to look at how these measures work in practice and how they can be improved in terms of the safety, accessibility and comfort for everyone. We want to capture the experiences of older and disabled people using this type of infrastructure and think creatively about how streets should be adapted in the future.”

A reference group has been established and throughout the project the team will be seeking input and views from a wide range of perspectives, including disabled people and organisations that represent them, and design professionals that have an interest in redesigning streets.

Susan Fulton, Mobility and Access Committee Scotland (MACs) said:

“MACs are aware of the concerns that changes to streets do not always reflect the specific needs of disabled people. Therefore, the committee is pleased to be involved in an initiative that will explore design challenges of making everyone – irrespective of age, ability or gender feel safe, confident, and included when changes to streets take place.

“There are challenges in ensuring disabled people feel safe when interacting with cars and bikes, which needs to be carefully explored and understood. New street designs need to evolve based on the experiences and feedback of as many street users as possible, including disabled people.”

 

Key stages of the project

Summer / Autumn 2021: Background research and literature review

Winter 2021 / Autumn 2022: Site research and engagement across the UK at bus-stop bypass and continuous footway sites

Autumn / Winter 2022: Work with stakeholders to develop recommendations

Spring 2023: Publication of advice on next steps to strengthen guidance

Get in touch

Organisations that are interested in this research can get in touch regarding future opportunities to get involved by emailing scotland@livingstreets.org.uk.

A programme of seminars and events will take place in early 2022.