Modest increase to Scotland's active travel budget welcome - but more is needed

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Modest increase to Scotland's active travel budget welcome - but more is needed

Cycling UK welcomes the newly-announced £5.5m increase to the Scottish active travel funds, but the budget to tackle the climate emergency requires a much larger shift in funding.

Public Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, introduced the Scottish Budget 2020/21 to Parliament. Government is proposing to increase funding for active travel by £5.5m.

Cycling UK welcomes this decision, which takes the total budget to £85m. Jim Densham, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said:

“We are pleased to see this modest increase in the budget for cycling and walking. However, the Scottish Government said this would be the budget to tackle the climate emergency.

"To do that it has to enable more people to walk and cycle, reducing car-dependency and transport related carbon emissions. That requires a much larger shift in funding.”

To tackle the climate emergency, Government has to enable more people to walk and cycle, reducing car-dependency and transport related carbon emissions. That requires a much larger shift in funding.

Cycling UK therefore wants to see the Scottish Government go further, by boosting the amount of money it gives to Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities to build dedicated cycling infrastructure. We want to see the Cycling Walking Safer Streets fund, which helps Local Authorities pay for infrastructure, boosted to at least £20m in 2020/21.

Jim Densham commented: “With Local Authority budgets under pressure there is a strong case for Government providing them with a larger share of funding, to help them increase the numbers of people walking and cycling in their areas.

“This would send a strong message to Local Authorities that Government is investing in active travel infrastructure right across the nation and is increasing their ability to bid for further active travel project funding.”

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