The Scottish cycling scene is to receive a significant cash injection over the course of the next three years.
£5 million will be invested as part of the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) programme to encourage people to adopt cycling.
The funding follows the announcement with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) of the £15 million SCSP programme, which aims to boost sustainable transport including cycling. The project aims to convert 10 per cent of all car journeys into cycle trips by 2020, a target set in the Scottish Government’s draft Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS).
CAPS researchers found that 88 per cent of the population would like to cycle more often, but that only two per cent cycled to work, while one per cent cycles to school.
Stewart Stevenson, Scotland’s minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change said that the investment was crucial if Scotland is to follow the example set by the continent.
He said: “If we are to emulate the success of our European neighbours, such as the Netherlands and Denmark who enjoy a 27 per cent and 18 per cent share for cycle journeys respectively, then we must do all we can to encourage Scotland to get on its bike.
“The cycling initiatives being taken forward in the seven SCSP project regions give us a fantastic opportunity to do just that. We need the rest of Scotland to follow suit if our vision of getting 10 percent of our population out of cars, buses and trains and onto bikes is to become a reality. We know it’s ambitious but it’s achievable.
Stevenson added: “Cycling is cheap, healthy and quick for short journeys and has almost zero impact on the environment. If we achieve our overall aim of 10 percent then we will be saving over half a million tonnes of harmful carbon emissions each year and moving towards delivering at least 42 percent emissions cuts by 2020, as outlined in our Climate Change Act.”
Seven local authorities will receive particular attention from the scheme including Dundee, Glasgow’s East End, Falkirk, Dumfries, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and Orkney.