Scottish budget update nets £20m a year for cycling infrastructure

The Scottish Government has announced an extra £15 million in the Budget for cycling and walking, bringing the total money allocated a year to just over £20 million.

The extra investment in active travel follows the Scottish Green Party finding an agreement with the Government on the Budget, which was initially announced on 6th February.

In the earlier announcement, there was a modest increase of £5.5 million per year for local authorities to spend on cycling. National cycling charity, Cycling UK, said this would not be enough to tackle climate change in Scotland, and this figure needed to increase to at least £20 million between 2020-2021.

The extra £15 million now takes the annual budget for cycling and walking to more than £20 million and means all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities have an increased budget to build dedicated cycling infrastructure.

Overall, the Scottish Government is now investing more than £100m per year in cycling and walking.

Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s Campaigns and Policy Manager in Scotland, commented on the news: “The breakthrough between the Scottish Green Party and Government on the budget is good news for the future of cycling and walking, and shows Scotland’s ambitions to cut emissions and get more people active is not just hot air.

“Cycling UK is extremely pleased that there is more money for local authorities across Scotland to spend on cycling. If spent well, this can encourage more people to be active on their shorter everyday journeys and help them reduce their carbon footprints.”

In June last year, the charity called on the Scottish Government to take action in providing funding for more, safer cycling and walking infrastructure after the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson revealed the vision of 10% of everyday journeys in Scotland to be made by bike, by 2020, would not be met. This prompted Cycling UK to demand more action would need to be taken to encourage more people out of their cars and onto a bike.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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