Scottish Government pledges additional £3m+ for active travel
The Scottish Government has announced an additional £3.3m of funding to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.
The announcement was made by Derek Mackay, Scotland’s transport minister, at the first Active Travel Summit, hosted by Highland Council and organised by Transport Scotland.
The new funding takes the Scottish Government’s investment in active travel to £39.2m for 2015/16, matching last year’s level.
In November 2014, the Scottish Government launched its Active Travel Vision, which aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle for everyday shorter journeys. The vision focuses on areas such as infrastructure, transport integration, cultural and behaviour change, community ownership and planning.
The Active Travel Summit provided an opportunity to recognise the contributions local authorities, regional transport partnerships, health boards and other stakeholders have made to active travel. It also encouraged partnership working, emphasising that strong local ambition is 'key to continued progress’.
Mr Mackay said: “I am delighted to attend this first ever Active Travel Summit - establishing an annual event of this kind has been a high priority for me personally and it was the number one action from the 2013 Cycling Action Plan for Scotland.
“The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland are committed to encouraging healthier and greener modes of travel. That is why we are investing more than £1 billion to encourage people out of their cars and onto more sustainable and active modes.
“In addition, we have funded behaviour change programmes through the £5 million Smarter Choices, Smarter Places fund.
“More can be done however and we must keep up the current momentum in growing active travel.”
The additional funding will principally be made available through Sustrans Scotland to support additional community links projects and enhancements to the National Cycle Network.
John Lauder, director of Sustrans Scotland, said: “The Scottish Government is right to place greater emphasis on, and dedicate more funding to, healthier and greener ways of getting around. Walking and cycling is one of the best investments any government can make."