New cycling routes are to be set up across Scotland following a funding announcement from Transport Scotland. Sustrans the transport charity is going to build 136 projects in an effort to get people out on bikes.
The projects will include short path links to schools or shops and other bigger projects to help cyclists get round larger obstacles.
They plan to spend around £14m, and since the bodies who get the money have to provide match funding this means that over £30m will be invested in cycling and walking across Scotland.
One of the projects is in Edinburgh and the funding will be used to create a cycling route between the Union Canal and National Cycle Network 1 at the Innocent Tunnel via the Meadows.
Alison Johnstone MSP, the Co-Convenor of Holyrood’s Cross Party Group on Cycling, has welcomed the allocation by Sustrans Scotland of funding for new and upgraded cycle routes across Scotland.
In Parliament last week, the MSP questioned Keith Brown, the Transport Minister, on whether he will increase the funding in future years.
Today the Transport Minister said:-”I am encouraged by the number of local authorities who have put forward exemplar projects which could make a difference to helping more people to walk and cycle for everyday local journeys.
“We provided around £14m to the Community Links programme, which is the largest ever funding pot available to local authorities for these projects, to ensure infrastructure is delivered to make cycling a safe and realistic travel choice.
“The Scottish Government is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure, training and road safety projects through active partnerships with charities such as Sustrans to make Scotland a more active and healthy nation and increase the numbers of people choosing to cycle each day.
“This programme will also help to deliver our commitment to the shared vision as reiterated in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland 2013, that by 2020 10% of all journeys will be by bike.”
Almost every local authority and several other agencies have had projects approved and will receive match-funding from Sustrans (which comes from the Scottish Government).
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian said:-”This is positive news for communities across Scotland, and I want to see even greater investment in safer routes for cycling in future years. The record number of bids for this funding reflects the rapidly growing demand for better cycling infrastructure, both on and off road. I urge the Scottish Government to respond to the growing demand for safer cycling and increase funding each and every year to transform our streets.”