UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Friday 19 July 2024
 13.8°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Harrison Square seating area and improvements to Tesco roundabout crossing on the cards

Challenges around time and human resources, however, has meant that ZetTrans will use £80,000 less than anticipated from the Spaces for People fund

The proposed seating area at Harrison Square. Image via Shetland Islands Council.

A SEATING area could be coming to Harrison Square in Lerwick as part of a project to encourage people to “walk, cycle and wheel” more in Shetland.

The ‘parklets’ could include wooden seating, with some sheltered areas alongside plants.

Local transport partnership ZetTrans is also looking to improve the crossing at the South Lochside roundabout near Tesco which should result in more protected space and shorter crossing distances for pedestrians.

It also plans to buy three AI monitoring cameras which will be able to study active travel during planned trial speed limits at Sound Brae in Lerwick and Tresta.

ZetTrans successfully secured £200,000 from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund for the projects, but members of the partnership heard on Wednesday that due to time and human resource challenges the overall budget has been reduced to £120,000.

This is on the condition that 90 per cent of the projects are on the ground by end of March, with some flexibility allowed for delivery times to Shetland.

Shetland is said to have seen an increase in active travel – such as walking and cycling – during the pandemic.

Further public engagement on the projects and monitoring will be undertaken to evaluate impact.

Transport policy and projects officer Robina Barton said there is a hope that the Harrison Square initiative could provide a boost to local catering businesses through people being encouraged to sit and eat outside.

She said this project has been developed in conjunction with Living Lerwick.

The reduction in funding which will actually be used was raised in questioning by Shetland Central member Davie Sandison.

Barton conceded that the short-term nature of the fund meant that some other mooted projects – such as developing a “low traffic neighbourhood” in Lerwick – was not possible, due in part to the level of consultation required.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“It was quite challenging to find anything that could be done on a short-term basis,” she said.

Barton did acknowledge that it has ended up being quite “Lerwick-centric”, but she reiterated that the timeframe for the funding – which requires all money to be spent by 22 May – meant that projects were limited.

Sandison also asked if the £80,000 which will not be received could be clawed back, but the meeting heard that it would not be able to come through the same fund.

ZetTrans lead officer Michael Craigie did give a reassurance, however, that other funding will be sought in the future with regards to the recently approval Shetland active travel strategy.

“We will be quite aggressive in pursuing funding and getting as much as we can into Shetland,” he said.

During debate Sandison issued a warning about applying for funding when the resources may not be in place for the work to be undertaken in the required time limits.

He added that there seems to be a “bureaucratic approach” to these types of processes, saying that the resources of ZetTrans and primary funder Shetland Islands Council need to be aligned.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.