What’s on your cycling Christmas list?

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Jim Densham's picture

What’s on your cycling Christmas list?

A new Scottish Government review will decide the major transport projects to receive investment for next the two decades. Jim Densham, Cycling UK's Campaigns and Policy Manager for Scotland, explains why we need to let Transport Scotland know what's on our Christmas list.

My kids usually present their Christmas wish list in early December, after being told that November is way too early! Then comes their non-too subtle reminders and our expectation management before the excitement leading up to the big day.

It’s a bit like lobbying Government for investment in cycling: know the right time to ask, know what to ask for, make sure they understand what you really want and how much you want it.

This year advent has coincided with the Scottish Government’s online survey asking the public for its wish list for transport projects for the next 20 years.

The survey is part of the Strategic Transport Review Process (STPR2). It's a huge spending review for transport projects in Scotland. It gives you the opportunity to have your say on what major transport projects you want to see in Scotland over the next 20 years.

As it happens, each of our boys have already had their big Christmas present this year – new bikes. They both want to cycle more but had grown out of their old bikes. New bikes should mean freedom and fun but despite the new bikes, cycling for them – like many people – remains more difficult than it should be.

Our roads and community spaces are designed around cars rather than the huge variety of people, all with different needs and abilities, who want to get from A to B.

Our roads and community spaces are designed around cars rather than the huge variety of people, all with different needs and abilities.

Jim Densham

My youngest will have the chance to do Bikeability at school in 2020, but with only 1.9% of journeys to school in Scotland taken by bike, the follow-through of Bikeability to everyday life is poor.

It’s not because the training is poor, it’s because there’s far too little safe space for children to ride bikes and gain the confidence they need to make cycling an everyday activity.

That’s just one reason why we need STPR2 to change Scotland for the better – for our children. Our children need to be set up for a healthy, active and confident life with a minimal impact on the planet.

Cycling can provide this, but only if Government invests in separated cycle lanes along main roads, cycle networks along quiet roads, much more bike parking at schools, stations, and transport hubs…I could go on.

Help make it happen by completing the online survey but before you do, read our handy guide which provides more of the solutions you might want to adapt and use. Send them your cycling wish list before Christmas – or at the latest by January 10th.

My kids know that if they don’t provide their Christmas list, they might get random stuff and end up disappointed. We need to give Transport Scotland a list of what we want for cycling otherwise we will get what Government thinks we need – and we will be disappointed!

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