SamJonesTuesday, 5 September 2017
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement as she presented her Government’s plan to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, in Holyrood.
The increase in active travel funding to £80m per year is seen by Cycling UK as an essential element to the Programme for Scotland, which focusses on making Scotland a better place. Doubling funding for cycling and walking will help encourage active travel choices through a combination of behaviour change initiatives and the building of physical infrastructure.
Cycling UK also believes the level of the Scottish Government’s funding for cycling and walking shows a commitment lacking in other national administrations within the UK.
Currently funding for cycling and walking in England is projected to be £1.2bn over the next four years, or effectively, an annual £6.50 per head for everyone in England outside of London. In Wales, it is estimated that between £3 to £5 per head is spent on active travel a year, while in Northern Ireland the Department for Infrastructure has previously acknowledged that “…the funding available for cycling has been limited and spread thinly.”
Cycling UK sees Transport Scotland’s doubling of investment in active travel, to effectively an annual £13.50 per head, as an aspiration each devolved administration should seek to match.
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s Head of Development Scotland, commenting on what the announcement means for cycling and walking in Scotland said:
“Today’s announcement of the doubling of funding for active travel to £80m per year comes is fantastic news for Scotland and cycle campaigners. The return on investment will be massive and wide reaching, as the economy, public health and environment are all set to benefit from this news.
environment commitments, and follow in Scotland’s tyre tracks.”