The future of the £9 million Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets Fund (CWSS) has been thrown into doubt, says sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Following this week’s draft Scottish Budget, which saw considerable funding dedicated to electric cars, the failure to mention the CWSS has caused concerns for its future.
A meeting will take place today where the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) is likely, according to Sustrans, to make reductions in spending, with the CWSS a potential casualty of cost cutting.
Sustrans Scotland director John Lauder said: “Scrapping CWSS destroys the ability of local authorities to match fund the grant we manage on behalf of Government.
“This year, for a grant of £5 million we were able to 50 per cent match fund, thereby levering another £5 million from our local authority partners and doubling the spend on healthy, sustainable travel. Removing CWSS from the budget lines of local authorities therefore removes a pot of money that transport departments could access to improve conditions for walking and cycling in local areas.”
Thus far Sustrans Scotland has received funding from the Scottish Government of around £5 million per annum, with an additional sum this year to herald the launch of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland – aiming to boost cycling in schools and communities. Studies in Scotland have seen investment in cycling result significantly increase numbers of cyclists.