New cycling facilities are to be installed up and down the country thanks to funding from Transport Scotland. 136 projects will be constructed right across Scotland in a bid to get more people cycling more often. New facilities will vary from short path links to schools and shops, to bold initiatives which overcome significant barriers.
The funding is administered by Sustrans, through their Community Links programme. Statutory bodies, such as local authorities, were invited to submit applications for proposed projects and they have recently found out whether or not they have been successful in securing a share of the funding pot
In total, Sustrans will give out £14.5 million through the Community Links Programme. Statutory bodies have to at least match fund what they receive from Sustrans. Statutory bodies are set to contribute over £18 million. Therefore, over £32 million will be invested into cycling and walking facilities.
This year, for the first time, a selection of large scale exemplar projects are to be funded. For example, in Edinburgh a high quality cycling and pedestrian route will be created between the Union Canal and National Cycle Network 1 at the Innocent Tunnel via the Meadows. Meanwhile, in Glasgow a 2 mile stretch of shared use path will be put in place along the south bank of the River Clyde from Richmond Park to the Tradeston Bridge.
Tom Bishop, Sustrans’ Community Links Coordinator, said:
“It is clear that there is a real appetite to improve cycling facilities across Scotland as we received an all-time record high number of applications to our Community Links Programme this year – over 200 in total.
“Our Community Links team has worked hard to carefully select the highest quality projects to fund and we look forward to working with partners to ensure their successful delivery.
“The installation of these new cycling facilities will give people the opportunity to travel actively on a regular basis. This will bring them a large number of benefits – health, financial and environmental. It will also help Scotland move towards achieving the vision set out in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland for 10% of trips to be by bike by 2020.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown 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.”