Questions concerning the Spaces for People programme and SUSTRANS: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Please advise on funding for the Spaces for People programme of temporary measures relating to Covid- 19 throughout Scotland.

1. How much in total will be paid to SUSTRANS for its role in the project?
2. How was SUSTRANS selected as the lead for a project with a life-or-death public health infectious disease remit?
3. How did SUSTRANS choose experts to advise on its projects such as building wooden 'parklets' and benches in Aberdeen, and replacing Aberdeen's bus stops with wooden bus stops?
4. Has the Scottish Government received any complaints about the implementation of the project - if so please give details/share data.
5. What measurement criteria are involved in determining success or failure of the plan and how is the scheme being monitored?
6. Does the Scottish Government know how many disabled parking bays were negatively impacted by the implementation?
7. What was the rationale for encouraging people to not use cars (where they would have been more distanced from others and more isolated from aerosol virus droplets) and to walk or 'wheel' instead?
8. Does the government accept that people with mobility issues have been negatively impacted by SUSTRANS' plans?
9. How much funding has the Scottish government give to SUSTRANS for the past 5 years?


1. No new grant funding has been awarded to Sustrans for the Spaces for People programme. Funding for Spaces for People has been repurposed from grant funding allocated to the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme.

2. Sustrans plays an administrative role in the delivery of the Spaces for People funding to local authority-led projects. Spaces for People is funded through repurposed Places for Everyone funding, a programme Sustrans manage as an expert organisation in walking and cycling infrastructure delivery.

3. The Scottish Government does not hold this information as resourcing is an internal decision making matter for Sustrans. Local authorities are fully responsible for the delivery of projects.

4. The Scottish Government has received one formal complaint regarding the implementation of Spaces for People.

5. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the monitoring of individual projects as monitoring is the responsibility of local authorities. Local authorities are monitoring all projects to understand the impact of changes, and will evaluate each of these in line with the Monitoring & Evaluation Framework for Spaces for People.

6. The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of disabled parking bays impacted, as the management of local roads is the responsibility of local authorities.

7. Information on the aims of Spaces for People can be found via:

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to provide information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

8. This does not fall within the scope of FOISA because it is a request for an opinion rather than for recorded information. Local authorities are responsible for individual projects and ensuring infrastructure is accessible to all. We expect local authorities implementing the temporary measures to continue to comply with all relevant statutory duties including, where applicable, the public sector equality duty and requirements to carry out equality impact assessments. Sustrans, as administrators of the fund on behalf of Scottish Government, continue to work with Mobility and Access Committee Scotland to ensure that the needs of disabled people are fully considered in the development of infrastructure.

9. Sustrans have received the following grant funding for the past 5 years:

Grant Awards to Sustrans Scotland


2016/17 - 2020/21





Amount of Grant Awarded















As explained above, the Scottish Government does not haven some the information you have asked for. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

However, you may wish to contact Sustrans Scotland at who may be able to help you, or individual local authorities directly.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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