Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on safer public spaces - urban centres and green spaces

This guidance document focuses on design principles for safer urban centres and green spaces in Scotland during the coronavirus crisis. It contains information and examples of interventions that may be undertaken by owners and operators of public spaces to keep people safe, as restrictions relax.

64 page PDF

6.9 MB

64 page PDF

6.9 MB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on safer public spaces - urban centres and green spaces
8. Appendix

64 page PDF

6.9 MB

8. Appendix

8.1 Where to obtain further information

Coronavirus in Scotland : Scottish Government information and support

https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Here you will find a range of information and support relating to:-

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Scotland
  • Protecting yourself and others
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Getting tested for coronavirus
  • Healthworkers carers and social work
  • Housing and accommodation
  • Schools, education, children and young people
  • Businesses and self-employed people
  • Work and financial support
  • Offer help
  • Funeral, burial and cremation
  • Animal owners
  • Travel
  • Scottish Government approach and strategy

This includes specific guidance on:-

Shielding - A Way Forward for Scotland

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-shielding-way-forward-scotland

Test and Protect

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect

Face Coverings

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-2-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/face-coverings/

Re-opening Schools

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-re-opening-schools-guide/

8.2 Safer Places Guidance Documents

Sustrans' design guidance This guidance is to inform and enable statutory bodies implementing temporary infrastructure in Scotland during COVID-19. Content will be regularly reviewed and updated by Sustrans Scotland.

https://www.showcase-sustrans.org.uk/design-guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance: This guidance for the retail sector in Scotland includes procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-retail-sector-guidance

8.3 Security Guidance

Staying secure during Coronavirus: Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

https://www.cpni.gov.uk/staying-secure-during-covid-19-0

Risk to pedestrians during COVID-19: Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

https://www.cpni.gov.uk/system/files/documents/9f/8f/CPNI%20and%20NaCTSO%20Advice%20Note%20-%20Protecting%20pedestrian%20queues%20from%20Vehicle%20As%20a%20Weapon%20Attack%2014%20May%202020.pdf

8.4 Transport Scotland Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice on how to travel safely: This guidance contains advice on how to be safe when walking, wheeling (wheeling refers to travelling by wheelchair), cycling, or travelling in private vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Scotland.

https://www.transport.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/transport-transition-plan/advice-on-how-to-travel-safely/

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance on Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders and Notices

https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-temporary-traffic-regulation-orders-and-notices

Coronavirus (COVID-19): A guide for transport operators in Scotland to keep their staff and those using their services safe

https://www.transport.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/transport-transition-plan/guidance-for-transport-operators/#63878

Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS): MACS gives Scottish Ministers advice on aspects of policy, legislation and practice affecting the travel needs of disabled people.

https://www.transport.gov.scot/our-approach/accessible-transport/mobility-and-access-committee-for-scotland-macs/#42413

Two recent MACS pieces of guidance specifically related to COVID 19 are:-

Designing Streets

https://www.gov.scot/publications/designing-streets-policy-statement-scotland

8.5 Guidance for the safe use of places of worship

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/

8.6 Additional relevant external information

NHS inform general advice

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-general-advice

Towns and BIDS Resilience and Recovery Fund

https://www.scotlandstowns.org/towns_and_bids_resilience_and_recovery_fund_2020?utm_campaign=towns_recovery_fund&utm_medium=email&utm_source=scotlandstowns

Guidance from Sustrans on walking and cycling during the coronavirus outbreak

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/about-us/sustrans-and-covid-19/

Paths for All Guidance

https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/lets-walk/tips-and-stories/tip-and-story/walking-during-periods-of-social-distancing

Paths for All Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund This funding can be used for support for developing rotas, schedules and shift patterns as well as other travel behaviour change projects.

https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/open-fund

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub provides information and links to find guidance and funding to help organisations respond to the crisis.

https://scvo.org/support/coronavirus

Funding Scotland

https://fundingscotland.com/

Northern Ireland IMTAC statement on pop up infrastructure

https://www.accessibletravelni.org/your-experiences/basic-guidelines-for-the-development-of-inclusive-walking-wheeling-and-cycling-infrastructure-in-response-to-covid-19/

RNIB advice for LAs in England

https://www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/files/RNIB%20Advice%20for%20LAs%20on%20walking%20and%20cycling%20changes%20FINAL.docx

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/

The links below provide and demonstrate further examples of opportunities for change:

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/articles/news/2020/04/hf-introduce-temporary-wider-pavements-help-shoppers-social-distancing

Brighton & Hove City Council

https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/madeira-drive-first-road-be-allocated-walkers-and-cyclists

London Borough of Hackney

https://news.hackney.gov.uk/council-to-introduce-emergency-road-safety-measures-to-help-maintain-social-distancing

Leicester City Council

https://news.leicester.gov.uk/news-articles/2020/april/temporary-cycle-lane-creates-route-to-help-key-workers/

8.7 Checklist: Potential Interventions in your Places

This checklist provides a summary of all the potential interventions in this document that could help you support physical distancing in your places. For speed of checking, all of the points have been split into movement, space, buildings and infrastructure. To quickly understand what changes you should consider, please use the colour coding approach for what you either need to: (1) 7add to your environment as something new; (2) improve an existing situation; or, (3) remove from a space.

new i.e. new changes that you may need to make to your places i.e. new signage or markings.
improve i.e. enhancements that you may need to make to your places i.e. widening footpaths.
remove i.e. things you will need to take away, or minimise, to help create more space i.e. moving planters

Please use the check list to firstly 'tick' what is relevant to your place and then secondly 'check-off' your completed changes. You can also use the list to monitor outcomes and make further changes to your place, as required.

movement i.e. people/traffic management in high streets and town centres

Place Consideration Detail Relevancy Completed

new

people movement

pedestrian space

signage Remind pedestrians of distance requirements. This could be through spray markings and signage at entrances and movement intersections.
maintenance Provide additional cleaning regime and maintenance.

pedestrian movement

distance Maintain 2m (6ft) distancing, if appropriate, for pedestrians.
entry/exits Provide separate entry and exit routes for pedestrian access with clear signs (i.e. creating one-way directions).
signage
  • Courtesy - Encourage pedestrians to wait and allow others to pass at entryways or along footpaths.
  • Signs on physical distancing and circulation - Particularly at conflict points such as junctions and crossings.
  • Limit queue length – Help manage multiple queues and pedestrian flows.
   
pedestrian corridor Aim to have a pedestrian corridor that is free of obstacles with access to dropped kerbs and tactile paving provided where required. This will help disabled people to navigate and maintain physical distancing.    
traffic signals Alterations to traffic signal times and phases to give greater priority to pedestrians.    

queuing

needs of different groups Consider the needs of individuals with disabilities and older people who may not be able to stand for long in the provision for queuing.
defined areas Create defined areas to indicate where pedestrians should stand when queuing using spray markings or temporary barriers.
management of multiple queues
  • Different businesses - Where there are different businesses adjacent to each other, clear signage and marshals should be used, as appropriate.
  • Space - Allow space where multiple queues meet.
   
"Do not join the queue" signs Provide at popular destinations, when capacity reached.    
marshals Consider the use of marshals to help manage queues and pedestrian flows.    
bus stops Provide signs reminding users to physically distance at bus stop waiting areas.    

transport movement

traffic management

traffic lanes These could be either be (1) closed (2) made one way or (3) completely pedestrianised. Links to further guidance can be found in the Appendix.
temporary parking areas Depending on circumstances, it may be advantageous for temporary car parking areas to be located at the edge of town centres and busy areas. This may help to disperse traffic from busy areas, reduce the impact of the loss of car parking due to footway enlargement, and allow the prioritisation of car parking for disabled people within town centres.
delivery times Phase delivery timings in loading bays.    
new road layouts Provide signage to inform pedestrians and road users of changes to road layouts.    
cycleways Introduce new cycleways.    
transport hubs
  • Develop a zonal plan for station hubs, highlighting destinations, conflict zones and desire lines.
  • Provide queue marking indicators and barriers outside main entrance.
  • Allow space where multiple queues meet.
  • Identify waiting zones.
  • Provide signs on physical distancing and circulation.
  • Taxi, bus, cycle and pick-up to have waiting zones with identified routes through.
  • Consider reallocation of station forecourt to provide more space for interchange.
  • Consider appointment of marshals to help manage the flow of people into, and out of, transport hubs.
   
pedestrianisation Pedestrianise and consider impact on traffic movement.

improve

people movement

pedestrian space widen footways Widen to accommodate distancing between pedestrians, including the use of temporary barriers in the carriageway; changes to parking bays, loading bays and relocating cycle lanes.
pedestrian movement access Maximise/enlarge access to entry and exit routes to minimise queues.

transport movement

traffic management

people with disabilities The impact of measures on people with disabilities and other groups needs to be kept under consideration. This includes access for blue badge holders and may call for a balanced approach.
deliveries/street works Consider the need for delivery access and essential access for street works and maintenance.
parking Consider car parking layout and spacing, reducing capacity if appropriate.    
crossings Ensure safe, level crossing points.    
seating Ensure seating areas for the disabled and elderly.    
use existing street furniture Use existing street furniture (e.g. lamp-posts) for signage to avoid impacting on pedestrian flows.
transport hubs Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points.

remove

people movement

pedestrian space street clutter Remove or relocate unnecessary obstacles, for example planters, and add markings/tape on seating to maintain physical distancing.
pedestrian movement bus stops/shelters Move bus stops/shelters to areas which can accommodate queuing in line with physical distancing requirements.  

transport movement

traffic management

parking layout Consider car parking layout and spacing, reducing capacity if appropriate.
on street parking Potential to suspend on-street parking to facilitate other measures whilst taking account of any accessible parking bay needs.
pinch points Minimise pinch points, whilst taking into consideration security and the needs of the disabled and elderly.    
traffic speeds Reduce traffic speeds using traffic calming measures.    

space i.e. green spaces

Place Consideration Detail Relevancy Completed

new

pedestrian

space

signage Place signs on physical distancing and circulation, particularly at entrances and conflict points, such as junctions & crossings.
queue markings Show queue marking indicators at main entrance, popular park destinations and toilets.
marshals Marshals to help manage queues & pedestrian flows.    

pedestrian, cycle and wheeled movement

one way One-way movement of pedestrians to maintain 2m (6ft) distancing.
signage Signage to encourage pedestrians to wait/step aside to allow others to pass at entryways or along footpaths.
entry and exits Provide separate entry and exit routes for pedestrian access with clear signs.    

queuing

defined areas Create defined areas to indicate where pedestrians should stand when queuing, using spray markings or temporary barriers.
"Do not join the queue" signs Provide at popular destinations, when capacity reached.
traffic management traffic lanes These could be either be (1) closed (2) made one-way or (3) completely pedestrianised.

improve

pedestrian space

footway widening
  • Within parks - Accommodate distancing between pedestrians, including through the use of temporary barriers, changes to parking bays, and cycle lanes. This may include the use of grassed areas adjacent to existing paths to increase circulation space and requires appropriate maintenance of all accessible areas. Ensure that these are accessible for wheelchair users and those with pushchairs.
  • On approach streets - To main entrance of parks.
street furniture Use existing street furniture for signage to avoid impacting on pedestrian flows.
seating Add markings/tape on seating to maintain physical distancing.    
maintenance Provide additional cleaning regime and maintenance.    

pedestrian, cycle and wheeled movement

entry and exits Enlarge entrances and exits to minimise queues.
crossings Ensure safe level crossing points to access park.
traffic management deliveries Consider the need for delivery access and timing. Plus, essential access for street works and maintenance, taking into account noise/disturbance issues for local residents, where possible.

remove

pedestrian space planters Remove unnecessary obstacles, for example planters, and add markings/tape on seating to maintain physical distancing.

traffic management

parking
  • Layouts - Consider car parking layouts and spacing, reducing capacity as appropriate.
  • On street - On street parking could be suspended to facilitate other measures.
traffic speed Reduce traffic speed around parks.
pinch points Minimise pinch points, whilst taking into consideration security and the needs of the disabled and elderly.    

buildings i.e. retail (semi-enclosed/enclosed) and commercial areas

Place Consideration Detail Relevancy Completed

new

retail/ commercial areas and

buildings

building frontages Provide queue marking indicators on pedestrian areas, focusing queues along the building frontage, where appropriate.
building entrances Keep building entrances and footpaths clear, whilst taking account of the needs of the disabled, elderly and security considerations.
phasing
  • Phase access and opening times.
   
queue markings
  • Place queue marking indicators and barriers outside main entrance.
  • Provide queue markings for street stalls.
  • Provide queue marking indicators outside office entrances.
   
one way Create one-way circulation for street markets.    
deliveries Phase delivery timings in loading bays.    
waiting zones Identify waiting zones.    
signage
  • Provide signs and information at widened entry and exit points for markets.
  • Provide signs on physical distancing and circulation.
  • Provide signs to limit queue length.
   
public toilets Provide signs at public toilets for queuing, physical distancing and automatic sanitising.    

improve

retail/ commercial areas & buildings

access Maximise access and introduce one-way entry and exit points.
forecourt space Consider relocation of station forecourt to provide more space for interchange.
footways Widen footways by utilising the carriageway.    

infrastructure i.e. digital connections

Place Consideration Detail Relevancy Completed

new

digital

digital tools Owners/operators may want to consider the use of data and digital tools to make it easier for people to maintain physical distancing. Plus, to aid decision-making regarding the management and modification of spaces.
availability of data Consider making data available that shows the current footfall of spaces, especially those places that are prone to overcrowding. Access to data and digital tools will allow people to more effectively plan their journeys and choose alternative spaces, or use spaces, at other times of day.
monitoring use of spaces Owners/operators should consider using data and digital tools to monitor the usage of spaces, and to make modifications to the access (and use of those spaces) as required.    
Plan for changing uses Data and digital tools may be needed to anticipate and plan for the changing use of public places over time. They can also be used to predict and mitigate the potential for overcrowding at certain sites during peak usage times. Necessary corrective measures can be taken to make it easier for people to physically distance.    
improve e-booking systems Consider how existing e-booking systems can be utilised to support the effective capacity management of public spaces, such as outdoor sports courts and provide key guidance for usage.

Helpful notes

Temporary signage

Owners/operators are advised to provide clear and concise information to the public on how to adhere to physical distancing. Note: Must use simple, clear and accessible images and messaging to explain guidelines, with consideration for groups where their first language may not be English or where alternative formats may be required.

Security considerations

Security considerations and the impact of measures on people with disabilities and other groups, need to be kept under consideration. This includes access for blue badge holders and may call for a balanced approach.

Safety advice

Emphasise the latest Scottish Government advice on safety procedures and carefully consider physical distancing guidelines in public places. This could include:

  • Showing the maximum number of people who can queue safely (accounting for physical distancing).
  • Signs and announcements about safe travel and maintaining physical distancing. Signs should be placed strategically to maximise impact.
  • Information on changes for disabled users and how they can continue to access public places in a safe way.
  • Providing marshals in the busiest areas.
  • Marking appropriate spaces for queuing, accounting for queues and space required by neighbouring premises whilst taking security considerations into account.

Designing Places

All considerations in the checklist work with the 6 Qualities of what makes a successful place. They are: distinctive, safe and pleasant, welcoming, adaptable, resource efficient and easy to move around.


Contact

Email: architecture@gov.scot