Lobbying by Sustrans and others help's persuade Finance Secretary to ringfence scheme...

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, John Swinney, has confirmed that money set aside for the country’s Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets (CWSS) scheme will continue to be ringfenced, although the amount available will be reduced from £9 million to £7.5 million.

There had been fears that the scheme, which helps provide funding to local authorities for suitable projects, would fall victim to spending cuts after Mr Swinney failed to make reference to it during his budget speech last November.

The Scottish National Party politician revealed the news in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee (TICC), says Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, which led efforts to urge the minister to continue to ringfence funds for CWSS.

John Lauder, Director of Sustrans Scotland commented: “We commend this real commitment by Mr Swinney, the TICC Committee and COSLA to improving the levels of physical activity in Scotland and therefore the health of the population. Athough the fund has been reduced in size, it has not been hit as hard as other areas. We’ve already seen how investing in walking and cycling can reap real rewards and this means we can continue to build on that."

News that money set aside for CWSS will still benefit from ringfencing comes just days after we reported here on road.cc about the continuing row in Scotland over the Holyrood government’s intransigence over the failure to incorporate provisions for cyclists, walkers and other non-motorists to cross an upgraded section of the A9 between Perth and Inverness at Crubenmore.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.