Borders pupils pick up hi-vis vests to encourage active travel

Primary school pupils across the Scottish Borders are being provided with hi-vis vests as part of the Spaces for People programme.

By Dawn Renton
Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 6:22 am

A total of 8,300 hi-vis vests are being handed out to encourage children and families to continue to carry out active travel – such as walking and cycling – in a safe manner during the winter months.

The provision of the hi-vis vests is thanks to support from the Spaces for People programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland.

Spaces for People aims to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and wheel for everyday journeys during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

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The programme has introduced a number of temporary infrastructure works which include 20mph trial in more than 90 villages and towns across the Borders, alongside a number of trial 40mph areas, road closures and one-way systems in specific locations, which are currently being implemented.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Infrastructure, Transport and Travel, said: “The Spaces for People programme is all about encouraging people to continue to get out and walk or cycle during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

“The provision of hi-vis vests to all primary school pupils is a positive way of helping children and families to continue to do this during winter, both when travelling to and from school and during weekends and holidays.

“The 20mph trial is in its very early stages but we have had some very positive feedback so far, alongside some questions around why we have introduced this pilot.

“We would emphasise that this is a trial and we will be providing communities with the opportunity to provide their views ahead of a final decision being made next year.In the meantime, we would ask all drivers to please comply with the 20mph limit.”

The Spaces for People 20mph trial began in early October, and we will be providing a survey to Community Councils in the coming months for their early experiences of the trial, while a public consultation will take place in Spring 2021.

A report will be taken to full council in summer 2021 including details of an evaluation of the scheme by Edinburgh Napier University, community council surveys and public consultation, with decisions expected to be made on which schemes to retain and which should be removed.

School pupils and parents will also be surveyed to determine if the 20mph has made any difference to their travel to and from school and their social activities in the evenings, weekends and holidays.

More information on the Spaces for People trial, including the 20mph timetable and extended FAQs, is available at www.scotborders.gov.uk/20mph.