Minister launches inspiring plan to promote cycling in Scotland

Transport Minister Keith Brown today launched the updated Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) 2013.

The announcement coincides with this year’s Bike Week with over 300 cycling events taking place across the country.

CAPS 2013 reinforces the shared vision that 10% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2020 and encourages all stakeholders to play their part in promoting cycling and active travel. It builds on the strong foundations set out in the original CAPS 2010 document and re-states the strategy with an effective delivery framework for years to come.

The document encourages local authorities to introduce more 20mph limits across urban areas, as part of developing their strategic approaches to developing local cycling infrastructure to drive progress towards much high participation in cycling for everyday travel.

It highlights the need for mutual respect between all road users, reflecting the commitment to the 40% accident reduction targets set out in the Road Safety Framework 2020.

Other features include integration with public transport, as seen in new initiatives such as Scotland’s first Bike Hub at Stirling Train Station.

The updated document includes a new national cycling summit which is planned for the autumn. The summit will be attended by the Minister along with Heads of Transportation and relevant Committee Convenors from across the country, to lead delivery and gauge progress.

The Minister announced £45k worth of funding to the Edinburgh Bike Station for its Dr Bike Cycle Safely Programme which will deliver cycle safely information and bike checks to communities across Edinburgh. The learning from this will inform the future development of approaches to community cycling promotion in other parts of the country.

He also announced £34k is to be allocated to Cycling Scotland to set up the first Fresh n Lo Pedal for Scotland Aberdeen Bike Ride which will take place in the autumn. The bike ride is a cross Ministerial portfolio project which involves funding from Transport, Commonwealth Games and Sport and Environment and Climate Change.

Transport Minister Keith Brown recently visited The Netherlands to look at cycle integration at rail stations parking facilities and bike hire schemes , he said:

“We are committed to the vision outlined in the updated CAPS document for 10% of journeys to be by bike by 2020 and continue to invest in the infrastructure required to increase participation in cycling for everyday travel.

“Most cycling trips are local trips and we encourage local authorities to invest more in local facilities. The Scottish Government will allocate £58m over this spending review period for active travel, including £20m of ring-fenced grants to local authorities for cycling, walking and safer streets projects.

“I am also pleased to announce £45k worth of funding for the Edinburgh Bike Station’s new cycle safely programme which will promote cycling to communities across the capital and £34k to Cycling Scotland to set up the first Fresh n Lo Pedal for Scotland Aberdeen Bike Ride.”

Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA’s development economy and sustainability spokesperson said:

"Scottish Local Government welcomes the refresh of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland. Achieving a greater proportion of everyday journeys by active travel but specifically cycling will be crucial in addressing Scotland's climate change objectives, while improving both safety for vulnerable road users and the health of Scotland's communities.

“The Plan calls for local leadership. Councils have a long-standing commitment to Scotland's Climate Change ambitions with all 32 Scottish councils having voluntary signed up to Scotland's Climate Change Declaration, demonstrating local leadership on these issues but also a continuing recognition that further action is needed and there are links to many other policy areas around health and community safety.

“Scotland's identity is to a large extent local and so are people's expectations. The Plan outlines an ambitious vision for Scotland and also a framework for councils' delivery of local communities' expectations of the places they want to live in and cycle around for years to come. As COSLA spokesperson I warmly welcome that ambition and am confident that councils will deliver on it."

Ian Aitken, chief executive officer, Cycling Scotland said:

“The new set of actions in the revised CAPS are a welcome response to the measures Cycling Scotland called for in our CAPS progress report, particularly in relation to the need for greater leadership. The annual summit between the Transport Minister and senior local authority figures will be a key measure in delivering complementary local strategies to support the CAPS vision of 10% of journeys by bike.

“We look forward to working with councils to support a renewed focus on the reallocation of road space and the reduction of traffic speeds and volumes to create coherent local cycle networks, which when delivered alongside behaviour change measures such as training and promotion, will ensure that that people feel that cycling is the most obvious and enjoyable way to travel.”

John Lauder, national director, Sustrans Scotland said:

"This is a good time to publish a refreshed version of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland: having 10% of trips by bike by 2020 is achievable but only with a focused approach from all levels of government. It is therefore good to see both the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities backing CAPS. The meeting between the Transport Minister and key local authority leaders is key to creating a sense of impetus. There is no doubt that the public has an appetite to cycle more, that is clear from Pedal on Parliament last month. Making the decision to cycle easy and logical is the challenge for Scotland going forward."

Ian Maxwell, Edinburgh Bike Station said:

“The Bike Station welcomes the opportunity to reach more people through the Dr Bike Cycle Safely sessions and to spread the message that cycling can be an easy and enjoyable way to get around in any Scottish city. We welcome the Scottish Government’s support for this exciting new project.”

Notes to editors

The CAPS refresh was led by Transport Scotland, following a Progress Report from Cycling Scotland and with stakeholder contributions over winter 2012 and spring 2013. This updated document will be available on Transport Scotland’s website (from 0930 am on Wednesday 19 June 2013.

Funding for the Bike Station’s Dr Bike Cycle Safely campaign will give out free advice and safety checks for around 4000 cyclists and non-cyclists in the Edinburgh area. The project will be evaluated and will report back to Transport Scotland on the outcomes, and depending on feedback, could be rolled out across other LA areas in due course.

Published 19 Jun 2013