Stop building new roads in Scotland, plead cycling & walking charities

Eight walking and cycling charities have called for an end to building new roads in Scotland, and to instead provide more street space for people on foot and bikes.

The charities (made up of: Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Forth Environment Link, Living Streets, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans Scotland and Transform Scotland) issued the call as part of a National Transport Strategy joint response, which closes tomorrow.

In addition to calling on the government to halt investment in creating new trunk roads, the organisations are calling for journeys on foot, by bike, and via public transport are prioritised before cars.

The charities have also proposed the taking of space from private vehicles to make more room for walking and segregated cycling, the need to deliver affordable and integrated public transport, and improved access to bikes.

The need for developers to include active travel infrastructure in initial plans for all new housing, commercial and retail developments was also highlighted, alongside support for behaviour change programmes which encourage active and sustainable travel.

Sustrans deputy CEO John Lauder explained: “The new National Transport Strategy takes a big step forward. The way we travel plays a huge role in our lives, so we’re especially pleased to see the strategy highlight the role transport can play in health and well-being.

“We know that walking, cycling and public transport are best placed to deliver the aims of the new strategy, and these six priorities should be the focus to make it a success. This includes an end to expensive new road building schemes in order to tackle the climate emergency – this money can be better spent on sustainable, healthy alternatives.”

Clara Walker, executive director of Forth Environmental Link, added: “We are pleased to see the National Transport Strategy looking to strengthen integrated transport options. Those particularly in rural communities who experience higher public transport costs, will be able to look at multiple modes of transport as a real possibility and leave the car at home.”

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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