Funding boost for walking, wheeling and cycling
Through record active travel funding for 2022/2023, the Scottish Government has outlined the next big steps in its commitment to put active travel at the heart of transport policy.
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie outlined the latest actions to make walking, wheeling and cycling the natural choice for shorter everyday journeys during a Scottish Parliament debate. The actions include:
- Increasing the Cycling Walking and Safer Routes budget which goes directly to local authorities from nearly £24 million to £35 million for 2022/23.
- More than doubling funding for the National Cycle Network to over £10 million for 2022/23.
- Allocating over £300,000 in road safety framework funding to develop a National Dashcam Safety Portal with Police Scotland – making it easier to report crimes that put other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, in danger.
- Continuing to pilot the provision of free bikes for all children of school age who cannot afford them – having already committed £2.5 million to 10 pilot projects that are underway and which will benefit up to 3000 children.
- Launching a new £1.5 million walking fund, managed by Paths for All and named in memory of Ian Findlay – the inspiring Paths for All Chief Officer and advocate for active travel who sadly passed away last year.
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said:
“I am delighted that through the Co-operation Agreement the Scottish Government is investing a record sum of £150 million for active travel in 2022/23 and have committed to investing at least £320 million or 10% of the transport budget for active travel by 2024/25.”
“What matters now is for that record investment to deliver on the ground, with exciting new ideas for footpaths and cycleways, increased safety, provision of bikes where cost is a barrier and making sure that more people feel confident to choose to walk, wheel or cycle – and so much more.
“I look forward to seeing that new investment translated into projects, but I am especially pleased that the Scottish Government will fund a new programme in memory of Ian Findlay, the Chief Officer of Paths for All who sadly died last year. The new fund, delivered through Paths For All will provide over £1.5 million to remove barriers on the existing path network. It will ensure our paths are more resilient to climate change and increased use, building on Ian’s proud legacy and contributions to everyday walking across Scotland.
“Through the wide ranging actions outlined today, we’ll continue to help build an active nation – essential to our health and to our green recovery – where more people can walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys than ever before.”
Kevin Lafferty Paths for All’s Chief Executive Officer said:
“We greatly welcome this additional investment in active travel in Scotland.
“The new Ian Findlay Path Fund will support community path projects right across the country and help get more people walking by removing barriers.
“The fund will play an important role in improving health and wellbeing and it is a fitting tribute to Ian whose vision was to make Scotland a walking nation where everyone has the opportunity to be active every day.”
For more information on the Ian Findlay Path Fund, visit the Paths for All website: www.pathsforall.org.uk/IanFindlayPathFund
For more information on how the Scottish Government is working to build an Active Nation visit: www.transport.gov.scot/activenation
Through the Bute House agreement, the Scottish Government has committed to increasing investment to at least £320 million or 10% of the total transport budget on active travel by 2024-25. This represents the most significant uplift in budget ever seen for active travel and represents a spend of £58 per head of population a year. This currently compares with approximately £10 per head in England, £23 in Wales and £30 in The Netherlands.
About Paths for All / Ian Findlay CBE
Paths for All is Scotland’s national walking charity. We are a partnership of organisations committed to promoting walking for health and the development of multi-use path networks in Scotland. We champion walking in Scotland for everyone, everywhere, and every day.
Our aim is to significantly increase the number of people who choose to walk in Scotland - whether that's leisure walking or active-choice walking to work, school or shops. We want to create a happier, healthier Scotland, where increased physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all.
We work to create more opportunities and better environments not just for walking, but also for cycling and other activities, to help make Scotland a more active, more prosperous, greener country.
Paths for All is supported by the Scottish Government to promote physical activity and walking for health in Scotland and is a key delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy and the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework.
Ian Findlay was the inspirational Chief Officer at Paths for All for more than 17 years.
He was hugely respected by his colleagues and in Scotland's third sector and beyond.
Ian was a Scottish ecologist and lifelong outdoor enthusiast. His personal values of responsibility, respect and care for each other and for the environment were evident in his career achievements, influence and personal voluntary activities.
Ian received a CBE in the UK Honours list for services to healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities in 2019.
He died suddenly in March 2021 while cycling near his home in Comrie, Perthshire, just a few weeks before his 60th birthday.