Transport Scotland announces £6 million funding boost for country's cycle path network

Facilities earmarked for improvement include part of LEJOG route

by Simon_MacMichael   October 4, 2012  

Scottish Parliament Bike Stands (copyright Simon MacMichael).jpg

Parts of Scotland’s cycle path network, including a large section of one of the routes used by cyclists riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats, are to get a £6 million makeover.

The funding was originally announced in Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney’s budget last month, and details have now been confirmed by the country’s Transport Minister, Keith Brown.

Besides improvements to the route between Barnton and Junction and the Forth Road Bridge on the eastern route regularly ridden by cyclists undertaking an end-to-end ride, Glasgow is also set to benefit from more cycle paths ahead of the city hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Elsewhere, investment will also be made in facilities in Edinburgh, Dundee and Kirkcaldy as well as on the A90, while cash will also be provided to Bikeability Scotland as well as cycle safety campaigns.

"I've been working closely with the cycling community in recent months to find out exactly what's needed to get more people in Scotland on their bikes," Mr Brown commented.

“What has been clear is that we share a vision for a Scotland that is safe, enjoyable and accessible for people to get around by bike.

“I want to ensure that people who currently cycle, and those who are considering it, are given even more reason to get about by bike by continuing to improve Scotland’s cycling infrastructure and this money will do that.

“We know that for many people, the safety aspect is keeping them from experiencing the great number of benefits that can be found in cycling – health improvements, a better environment and the savings to your pocket, as well as the fun aspect.

“Schemes such as Bikeability Scotland and Give Me Cycle Space, which teach kids how to stay safe on their bikes, are doing a great job of encouraging them to cycle from an early age and that’s why I am ensuring that we continue to fund their work.

“We want to ensure all P6/7 pupils have access to on-road cycle training. This additional funding will allow more local authorities to move to on-road training through staff training, recruitment of volunteers and bike library schemes, particularly in more deprived areas.”

Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland, added: "I'm delighted that this new funding will help us continue our work in equipping Scottish schoolchildren with the skills and confidence to cycle.

“By delivering Bikeability Scotland cycle training and awareness campaigns like Give Me Cycle Space together we are able to give children the skills they need to cycle confidently and to reassure parents by telling motorists to watch out for children cycling to school.

“We are working with local authorities across Scotland to increase the amount of training which is delivered on-road, as opposed to in the playground, as training is far more beneficial when delivered in a live road environment.

“This funding will enable us to support the network of over 4000 amazing volunteers that are currently delivering cycle training, increase the number of children receiving training on-road, and to continue to campaign for greater consideration for cyclists using the road network."

Next month, Cycling Scotland, along with the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK, is hosting a conference that will discuss how the Dutch have succeeded in achieving such high levels of cycling, and how that can be replicated in Scotland. Further details can be found here.

4 user comments

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The final paragraph of this story is the part which fills me with the greatest hope - I just pray the right people from Holyrood make a point of attending

posted by mad_scot_rider [536 posts]
4th October 2012 - 20:24

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mad_scot_rider wrote:
The final paragraph of this story is the part which fills me with the greatest hope - I just pray the right people from Holyrood make a point of attending

Having spent numerous hols in Scotland i cant think of a more beautiful place to be able to cycle in safety. Lets hope they all pull their fingers out and make it happen then maybe the knob heads in Westminster might do likewise. Sigh

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2664 posts]
6th October 2012 - 16:14

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£6m is about £1.15 per person in Scotland.

Various sources put the Dutch spending on infrastructure at 25 euros per person per annum.

posted by tarquin_foxglove [77 posts]
8th October 2012 - 13:12

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Currently 1% of journeys in Scotland are made by bicycle. The govt wants to see this increase to 10%. Yet, only 1% of the transport budget is given over to sustainable travel. They are yet to bite the bullet and invest in developing an infrastructure in the major towns and cities in Scotland that would encourage this increase in commuting by bicyle. My own council has invested in a cycling infrastructure but that is outside the town on old railway lines and serves to encourage the 'leisure' cyclist more than the commuter. Once you hit town there is absolutely nothing - no ASL, cycle lanes nothing. Admitedly the cycle track keeps you off some of the more challenging A roads once you are off it then you need to keep your wits about you as you negotiate some of the towns.

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posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
9th October 2012 - 14:38

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