Schemes to help deaf people cycle safely and encourage the uptake of e-bikes are among the first to benefit from a new Scottish Government fund to promote sustainable travel.
Launched in June 2018, the Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund provides grants of between £5k and 50k to help public, third and community sector organisations transform people’s everyday travel behaviour to more sustainable modes of transport.
On 24 October, Transport Scotland announced the first beneficiaries of the £2m fund – with £210k awarded to 11 projects in rural, urban and island locations.
The successful projects include:
Gaydio (Glasgow) – £10,000
Radio broadcast and a ‘mini-activities’ campaign targeted at LGBT people to encourage uptake of walking, cycling (including e-bikes) and public transport for everyday journeys.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust – £30,000
Phase one of a bike share demonstration within the National Park, to encourage the use of e-bikes for active travel in rural areas and reduce transport poverty.
Deaf Scotland – £20,000
Working in partnership with Cycling Scotland, accessible information will be provided online via film clips highlighting the risks of cycling and how to mitigate these, to enable deaf people to cycle in confidence as part of everyday journeys.
The Bike Station – £10,000
Provision of free bike safety checks and minor repairs through open access sessions across four higher education institutions in Edinburgh.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “I’m proud that the funding from this Government has supported a variety of organisations across Scotland.
“It responds to requests from third sector and community organisations, alongside a wide range of public agencies, who want to contribute in making Scotland’s transport cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.
“Even in its first few months the fund is already creating new opportunities for people to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys and to choose sustainable options for longer journeys.”