Milestone for sustainable travel fund as it awards over 100 projects
Over 100 new projects that aim to increase walking, cycling and shared transport are off the ground thanks to a multi-million pound fund.
The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund has awarded over £2.3 million in grants to initiatives that create opportunities for people to walk or cycle for short, everyday journeys or use public transport for longer trips.
Supported by the Scottish Government’s £80 million Active Travel budget, the fund aims to cut Scotland's carbon emissions, improve air quality and tackle health inequalities by promoting more active forms of transport.
Managed by Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All, grants of between £5000 and £50,000 are available to public, private and third sector organisations who have ideas about how to change travel behaviour in Scottish communities.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:
“I’m pleased that the funding from this government has supported over 100 local transport projects from the third sector, community organisations and public agencies through the Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund.
“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 – which is so important for our health, our air quality and our climate. By providing innovative solutions in communities across Scotland, these projects help encourage people out of cars and onto more sustainable forms of transport for everyday journeys.
“By providing financial support and empowering local organisations, supported by Paths for All, we can encourage an Active Nation, and ensure that more people can enjoy the benefits of active and sustainable travel than ever before."
Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer at Paths for All said:
“It’s clear that the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund has really captured the imaginations of people and organisations from all sectors. We’ve been very impressed by so many creative ideas for behaviour change projects, and it’s been heartening to see new partnerships forming to take these ideas forward to the good of local communities.
“Funding 100 projects that all have the aim of getting people to travel in a healthier and more sustainable way is a fantastic achievement, and I send my congratulations to them all.
“I’d encourage other public, private and third sector organisations to use this fund - and the expertise and guidance of our team - to help them make their active travel project ideas a reality.”
Full details of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund, including information on successful projects, is available at https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/open-fund