£10 million Active Travel boost
Mr Mackay confirmed the allocation for cycling and walking infrastructure at a meeting with active travel stakeholders.
This latest funding takes the total budget for active travel in 2015-16 to almost £36 million, a 12% increase on the active travel budget at the start of the 2014-15 financial year.
Mr Mackay said:
“This Scottish Government is firmly committed to supporting active and sustainable travel. This latest funding shows our determination to achieve our shared vision of 10% of everyday journeys being undertaken by bike by 2020, as set out in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland.
“My officials at Transport Scotland will be writing out shortly to Sustrans, Cycling Scotland and other organisations receiving funding in 2015-16 to confirm budget allocations but suffice to say that I am very excited about what we collectively can achieve in the coming year and beyond.
The combined £36 million Scottish Government support for active travel can be broken down as follows:
- £13.9 million capital funding from the Support for Sustainable and Active Travel budget
- Almost £4 million revenue funding from the Support for Sustainable and Active Travel budget
- £8 million funding through the ring-fenced Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets line in the Local Government Settlement
- £10m from the Future Transport Fund in 2015/16
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans, said:
“This increase to the budget is very welcome and will build on the solid momentum that has been gathering pace over the past three years to create better conditions for people to walk and cycle for their short, everyday trips.
“Sustrans supports the shared vision set out in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, for 10% of trips to be made by bicycle by 2020, and we are also fully supportive of the aspiration of the National Walking Strategy to grow the numbers of people walking every day.
“With our partners in local authorities and other agencies we will deliver high quality infrastructure through our Community Links Programme and will continue to develop the National Cycle Network, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
“The increased focus being placed on sustainable transport by the Scottish Government is very welcome, as is the move by local authorities to introduce more 20mph zones on shopping and residential streets in Scotland.”
Keith Irving, Cycling Scotland Chief Executive, added:
“Today’s announcement will help get the nation on its bike, improving health, cutting pollution and tackling inequalities. Cycling Scotland believes every child should have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike safely, confidently and happily through Bikeability Scotland cycle training.
“More people should share the joy of taking part in Pedal for Scotland, the biggest bike ride in the nation. In challenging economic times, increasing access to bikes and reducing barriers to cycling will help more people get around their communities safely and cheaply.”
In addition, Mr Mackay confirmed the following allocations from the £20.25 million Future Transport Fund in 2015-16:
- £5 million to continue to support the transition away from fossil fuelled vehicles to greener, cleaner, low emission vehicles. This includes the continued development of the ‘ChargePlace Scotland’ network of electric vehicle charging points and the ‘Switched On Fleets’ initiative, which is helping local authorities and their partners replace petrol and diesel cars and vans with low emission alternatives, improving local air quality and public health;
- £3 million for a further round of the Scottish Green Bus Fund, which provides grants to operators to meet the additional costs of introducing cleaner, greener, low carbon buses to their fleets; and
- £2.25 million for the Freight Facilities Grant which supports infrastructure projects that facilitate the transfer of freight from road to rail or sea.
Photographs of the Minister and stakeholders will be available on request later today.
Contact Press Transport Scotland on 0141 272 7195