New round of sustainable travel funding now open


A second round of funding to increase walking, cycling and sustainable travel has been allocated £2m from the Scottish Government’s £80m active travel budget for 2019/2020.

The Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund has now opened for applications and will be delivered through Paths for All. The fund encourages people to make sustainable travel choices, including using buses, trams, trains and car share clubs for longer journeys.

Grants available are between £5000 and £50,000 and need to be match funded by public, community and third sector organisations who wish to encourage people to walk or cycle for everyday, shorter journeys combining with public transport for longer trips.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
“The Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund helps fund innovative ideas to encourage walking, cycling and sustainable travel. This is a fantastic opportunity to implement programmes aimed at cutting carbon emissions, improving air quality and making healthier, safer, active travel a more viable option for getting around.

“I’m proud that the Scottish Government has provided support to 87 projects across the country in the first year. Supported through Paths for All, the Open Fund provides a real opportunity to realise innovation in sustainable travel and supports smaller community organisations who are keen to contribute to the climate, active travel and health agendas.

“By maintaining the active travel budget, which was doubled to a record level last year, we can continue to support and empower local organisations to develop sustainable transport and active travel projects that they wish to see.”

Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All said:
“During the first year, the Open Fund supported 87 projects with almost £2m worth of grants. One of the best things about the Open Fund is how flexible it is, and this was reflected in the wide range of applicants and projects in the first year. 

“These came from community groups, third and public sector organisations or a combination of all three working together. We were also heartened to see such creativity behind applications which all aimed to change people’s everyday travel behaviour.

“Creating opportunities for more people to walk and cycle for everyday short trips and choosing sustainable options for longer journeys is not only beneficial to health and wellbeing, it also helps reduce environmental impacts, inequalities and creates safer, robust communities where people feel more connected to where they live. 

“With the launch of the Open Fund 2019/20 and £2m of grants available once more, there’s so much potential to support many more projects which will help create a happier, healthier Scotland.”

For more information on how the Scottish Government is working to build an Active Nation, visit 

Full details of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund, including information on previous winners, is available at 

Published 19 May 2019 Tags