The Scottish Government has reduced the amount that local authorities need to contribute towards permanent walking and cycling infrastructure.
Currently, the match funding rate for the Places for Everyone programme is 50%.
However, in a bid to build an ‘active nation’, this is being reduced to 30% – meaning any successful application to the programme will now be 70% funded by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government says it recognises that costs can be prohibitive for some councils, especially in the context of COVID-19.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, said: “To support our green recovery and keep people walking, wheeling and cycling, we’ve reduced the amount that local authorities need to contribute towards permanent infrastructure across Scotland.
“The Places for Everyone initiative is already producing some very innovative and ambitious projects – but we recognise that costs can be prohibitive for some councils and especially in the context of COVID-19.”
The announcement has been made to mark the close of the Spaces for People fund.
Spaces for People was launched earlier this year to enable physical distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, through measures such as widened pavements and temporary cycle lanes.
In total, £38.97 million has been allocated to local authorities to create pop-up walking and cycling infrastructure.
The Scottish Government says attention has now returned to permanent active travel infrastructure, both in terms of new schemes and, where appropriate, building on temporary infrastructure.
Mr Matheson added: “Many local authorities are keen to learn lessons from the temporary infrastructure delivered through the nearly £39 million we have provided.
“With this improved funding offer for permanent schemes, councils will be able to match their insight with their ambition and deliver high quality infrastructure to help us build an active nation and encourage healthier and more sustainable travel.”