Funding for cycling in Scotland has paid dividends for the nation, exceeding expectations and increasing cycle usage by 31.8 per cent in three years.
According to performance indicators agreed by the Scottish Government, cash from the body (totalling £3.5 milllion from '09 to '10) and administered by Sustrans Scotland has upped the number of cycle journeys made.
National Cycle Network usage rose 31.8 per cent since 2007, far exceeding the original target of 15 per cent by 2011. Usage of short links on the Network rose 24 per cent from 1.3m in '08 to 1.6m in '09.
Significantly, it was hoped 25 per cent would be new cyclists, but figures show that a third of users (33.1 per cent) were new to cycling or starting to cycle again.
“These results show that the Scottish Government’s investment in good quality walking and cycling facilities is already paying off," said Sustrans Scotland director John Lauder.
"More and more people are getting enthused about travelling more actively and seeing that there is an alternative to car travel for local everyday journeys. People are cycling for leisure but also increasingly seeing the Network as a way they can get to work, school, or just around their local area. These results are good news but are just the beginning – investment in walking and cycling is a key part to the future of transport in Scotland.”
Scottish Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson added: “The Scottish Government has the most ambitious climate change targets anywhere in the world, and if we are to achieve results and help Scotland become a more active nation, we need to ensure that our investment in green transport is making a difference. I’m delighted that these results and our investment in cycling and walking infrastructure show that more people are making the shift to more sustainable modes of travel like cycling.”