Spaces for people initiative

Getting back to business

As we return to our workplaces and schools we need to enable safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise. Given the limitations on space in our towns and villages, it is very important that we make more room for people on foot, in wheelchairs and on bikes.

The requirements for physical distancing are likely to remain in place for some time. As a result, we need to look at temporary solutions that help people to carry on with their lives safely when making journeys such as going to work, shopping or taking exercise. 

Across East Lothian the number of people walking, running and cycling for exercise during lockdown increased. As the restrictions ease we want this trend to continue to shape a future that isn't so reliant on private car use. Regular walking and cycling also brings a range of health and wellbeing benefits, and will support more sustainable towns and villages.

Temporary emergency changes

East Lothian Council propose to make temporary changes in response to a national public health emergency and encourage safe walking and cycling. This includes measures such as reducing through traffic, reallocating road space to create space to allow people to pass each other, adding extra cycle infrastructure / facilities and removing street 'clutter' like pedestrian guard rails, or relocating traffic signs.

These emergency changes will help ease pressure at specific locations such as areas outside shops, bus stops, schools and medical centres. By their very nature they will be flexible and can be modified and removed as circumstances change.

We are committed to engaging with local communities to introduce community-led solutions and are seeking feedback to the proposals shown. We'll also respond to alternative suggestions.

Additional cycle parking will also be provided at coastal locations throughout East Lothian.

Wheelchair users and people with additional mobility support needs

All temporary measures will be additional to existing infrastructure and so will not make it harder to get around. Temporary measures will be assessed prior to installation to ensure dropped kerbs, ramps and other supporting measures are installed where needed. 

New speed limits

Temporary 20mph areas will be created for most towns and villages in East Lothian in order to:

  • Allow more flexible use of our town centres to allow us to respond to requests for the alternative use of public space
  • Make it easier to cross the road if necessary, to maintain social distancing
  • Support walking and cycling to school

Find out about our approach to implementing the new speed limits.

Ongoing engagement with communities

Our initial call for ideas received nearly 3,000 contributions with over 750 detailed comments from across the county which helped to formulate our funding bid. Working with communities, we are refining practical projects to rake forward. You can view up-to-date information on which proposal are being taken forward and let us know your views on this external site.

View our interactive maps

Alternatively you can email [email protected] with comments

There is also further infomation on the individual town pages

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