More information about our campaign to reduce emissions from transport
The Scottish Government recently “acknowledged and accepted that [they] needed to do more to encourage cycling” and announced additional funding for cycling, which is very welcome. This reflects the public pressure from people across the country calling for more investment in cycling.
However, much more investment is needed if Scotland is to become the low carbon country it aims to be. The Government needs to go further and double the current budget for cycling and walking next year and every year.
By 2020, 10% of the public funds being spent on transport should be allocated to cycling and walking. This will be essential to deliver on targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the number of people using ‘active transport’. There are also considerable benefits of increasing journeys taken by bike or on foot rather than by car, including safer streets, improved air quality and improving peoples’ physical and mental health.
The current budget for active travel is £20m each year. The recently announced increase would mean £30m next year but would reduce again the following year. We believe this needs to go further and be at least £40m each year for the next two years. Levels of funding for cycling and walking must continue to increase between now and to 2020, when at least 10% of the total transport budget should be allocated to this.
In addition to the welcome funding which has already been announced for cycling and walking infrastructure, like more cycle paths and better pedestrian crossings, here are a few examples of how this additional funding would make a difference are:
- Every child in Scotland should feel confident cycling. This should be delivered by giving all P6 pupils on road cycle training from professional cycle trainers.
- Investment in town centres across Scotland to make them accessible and walking-friendly, supporting local jobs through a new Town Centre Regeneration Fund
- Funding the National Walking Strategy so that over half of all school children are walking to school once again.
- Increase the number of employees across Scotland travelling to work by foot or bike. Delivery of this could be through the recruitment of Active Travel Champions in all major employers in Scotland, jointly funded with the 2020 Business group.
Funding for cycling and walking should increase year on year until the aim of 10% of all journeys in Scotland being made by bike and a significant increase in those made on foot, is achieved and maintained.