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Report outlines how Scotland can hit 2020 cycling target

Scottish Green Party urges ministers to rethink plans to cut spending on safe walking and cycling routes to schools

A new report has concluded that greater investment in segregated cycle lanes is needed if Scotland is to achieve its stated aim of 10 per cent of all trips being by bike by 2020. The International Comparator Study, commissioned by Cycling Scotland, based its recommendations on how the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Austria have increased cycling rates in recent decades.

Herald Scotland reports that the evidence from these countries "strongly indicates" cycling investment should be focused on segregated cycle lanes and traffic management measures such as reduced speed limits. Researchers also pointed to a focus in both the Netherlands and Denmark on teaching safe cycling to children.

The report states: "If the Netherlands considers it worthwhile to invest in ensuring school age children receive a programme of cycling education and training over many years – and they do – then that is probably lesson enough for Scotland. That the same is also true of Denmark emphasises the point."

The researchers did however make clear that education was not a substitute for physical measures. They point out that in Copenhagen a 22 per cent increase in space allocated to cycle paths between 1996 and 2014 was accompanied by a 44 per cent increase in the average number of kilometres cycled per weekday by the city's residents.

With cycling receiving less than two per cent of Scotland’s transport spending, campaigners say there are serious doubts about the government’s desire to achieve its 2020 target. The Extra this week reported how the Scottish Green Party has urged ministers to rethink plans to cut spending on safe walking and cycling routes to schools. The Cycling, Walking, Safer Streets Fund (CWSS), will see a drop from £8m to £5.9m for next year.

Alison Johnstone, health spokeswoman for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

"Christmas will have seen a fleet of new bicycles delivered to households across Scotland but in many places we don't have the infrastructure to truly make cycling a safe and enjoyable part of everyday life.

"By leaving funding flat, while pumping up spending on new trunk roads and motorways, the Scottish Government is making clear that cycling and walking is not a priority despite the benefits to health and people's pockets, and despite public demand.

"We have to remember that transport is a social justice issue. Not everyone has the money to, or wants to rely on a private car to get to places and many people would prefer increased investment in cycling, walking and public transport.

"I led Holyrood's first debate on cycling, almost four years ago, with the parliament reaffirming the Scottish Government's target of 10% of journeys by bike by 2020, yet we're still at only 1%. I will continue to press the case for a transformation in funding priorities. Scotland can become a cycle-friendly nation but we need Holyrood to be bolder."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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ironmancole | 8 years ago

Never gonna happen, period.

Saying you want to do something and actually setting out to achieve it are different planets, unfortunately politicians throughout the UK are so far off the mark I am pretty much left offended by how stupid they seem to think the public are, especially the increasing amount of very informed and very concerned individuals who have had enough of the PR bullshit and motor led violence.

As ever shame on government. Just when will we get true leaders with courage and social conscience as opposed to slaves of obesity, convenience and the private motor industry? That'll be the day I actually want to go out and vote, I want visionaries, not mindless clones.

Sandy14 | 8 years ago

"A new report" sad.

We don't need another report, we need action, and we need it now!

giff77 | 8 years ago

I read this article myself. It was also in the Record. In that column it was pointed out that Scotland couldn't do what Holland did as the streets here had to be shared by all and towns couldn't afford to give whole streets over to cyclists. Yet if you look at the history of the  Stop de Kindermoord people went out and sealed of streets to traffic until the authorities took the bull by the horns and started to develop what we now know exists today. They not only did this but also introduced strict liability and drummed into motorists the responsibility they had to vulnerable road users - not just in the urban setting but also the rural setting. The current Scottish Executive has no desire to develop sustainable transport to the levels that they claim to be targeting for 2020. As oldstrath says they would rather dual roads with no provision for walkers, cyclists, equestrians ( the A9 will effectively become a motorway and folk without vehicles will effectively have no means of getting from place to place as a result)  I could find nothing in the White Paper during the Independence Referendum in regards to cycling as a viable means of transport and no canvasser could enlighten me bar from the 20% target.  Though my perception is that they will use the leisure cycling as part of achieving that target as there appears to be greater provision made for those individuals.  Sadly commuting provision in many major towns of Scotland is poor to say the least.  For example: Paisley (one of the largest towns in Scotland) has only two ASL's  and both of these are faded away to nothing and sited on roads that don't really require them.  


oldstrath | 8 years ago

It's  not at all clear how the Scottish  Government  imagines we'll  get anywhere near 10% by 20ever. But so long as the drivers continue  to vote SNP they'll  be happy bullshitters, pissing away  too  much of other people's  money  on idiotic road projects and  talking  fantastical rubbish anoit imaginary targets for cycling.

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