WIN: Scottish Budget deal includes Cycling UK recommendation
On Wednesday the Scottish Government reached a deal with the Scottish Green Party to ensure the Scottish Budget gets approval at Holyrood. Extra spending commitments put forward by the Greens to secure their agreement include a further £15m for local authorities to spend on cycling and active travel projects – a commitment Cycling UK in Scotland had been calling for. This will take Scottish Government spending on cycling and active travel in the next financial year to £100m for the first time ever.
Responding to the news, Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager in Scotland said:
“Today’s breakthrough between the Scottish Green Party and Government on the Budget is good news for the future of cycling and walking, and shows Scotland’s ambitions to cut emissions and get more people active is not just hot air.
“Cycling UK is extremely pleased that there is more money for local authorities across Scotland to spend on cycling. If spent well this can encourage more people to be active on their shorter everyday journeys and help them reduce their carbon footprints.”
Since the draft budget was published on 6 February Cycling UK in Scotland has been campaigning for more money to go to local authorities around Scotland to help them invest in cycling infrastructure and match fund bids to larger pots of money for active travel. We wanted the budget to send a strong message to local authorities that the Government is investing in active travel infrastructure across the whole nation, and is willing to address issues holding back demand for more investment.
If spent well this can encourage more people to be active on their shorter everyday journeys and help them reduce their carbon footprints.
Jim Densham, Campaigns & Policy Manager in Scotland
Jim Densham recently blogged that the draft budget sent the wrong signal on climate change so it is encouraging that the final budget commitment will do more to address the climate emergency and support cycling in Scotland. The budget agreement also includes free bus travel for young people (18s and under), and more money for rail services and energy efficiency projects – to tackle climate change.