EAST Renfrewshire Council has been slammed over delays in plans to use a £1million funding pot to make it easier for people to walk or cycle during the Covid pandemic. 

The cash was awarded by walking and cycling charity Sustrans through the Spaces for People programme earlier this year, with local people being asked how they thought it should be spent.

However, that public consultation ended more than three months ago, with campaigners now urging council chiefs to accelerate their plans.

Barrhead resident and cycling enthusiast Martin Porter has created a ‘Safe Cycling for East Renfrewshire’ page on Twitter to vent his frustration over the delays.

Mr Porter, 45, told the Barrhead News: “I started this campaign due to the lack of safe cycling infrastructure in the area, even though East Renfrewshire Council was given over £1million of funding.

“Neighbouring Glasgow City Council have made great progress with this, yet East Renfrewshire councillors haven’t been able to offer me a solid answer when contacted about the lack of action taken here.”

Among the measures considered by council chiefs through the Spaces for People programme are ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes and the widening of footpaths to increase space for pedestrians.

They have also examined restrictions on parking where necessary to enable safe social distancing.

Council leader Tony Buchanan said: “We are absolutely committed to encouraging residents to travel actively wherever possible.

“Not only does this support a healthy lifestyle, it also alleviates pressure on public transport and negative impacts associated with an increase in private car journeys.

“We are continuing to work hard to put in place the necessary measures to improve our active travel network.

“The £1million funding provided by Sustrans through the Spaces for People programme for temporary interventions to enable more walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid is an important element of this and we continue to explore how best to utilise this funding.”

To find out more about the Spaces for People programme and the measures considered in East Renfrewshire, visit https://erspacesforpeoplemap.commonplace.is/about.