Scotland doubles annual funding for cycling and walking to £80m

Cycling UK projects like Big Bike Revival have benefited from the Scottish Government's commitment to Active Travel Photo: Andy Catlin
Cycling UK today (Tuesday, 05 September) welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement to double the annual level of funding for active travel (cycling and walking), by £40m, bringing the total to £80m.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement as she presented her Government’s plan to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, in Holyrood. 

The increase in active travel funding to £80m per year is seen by Cycling UK as an essential element to the Programme for Scotland, which focusses on making Scotland a better place. Doubling funding for cycling and walking will help encourage active travel choices through a combination of behaviour change initiatives and the building of physical infrastructure. 

Cycling UK also believes the level of the Scottish Government’s funding for cycling and walking shows a commitment lacking in other national administrations within the UK. 

Currently funding for cycling and walking in England is projected to be £1.2bn over the next four years, or effectively, an annual £6.50 per head for everyone in England outside of London. In Wales, it is estimated that between £3 to £5 per head is spent on active travel a year, while in Northern Ireland the Department for Infrastructure has previously acknowledged that “…the funding available for cycling has been limited and spread thinly.”

Cycling UK sees Transport Scotland’s doubling of investment in active travel, to effectively an annual £13.50 per head, as an aspiration each devolved administration should seek to match. 

Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s Head of Development Scotland, commenting on what the announcement means for cycling and walking in Scotland said:

“Today’s announcement of the doubling of funding for active travel to £80m per year comes is fantastic news for Scotland and cycle campaigners. The return on investment will be massive and wide reaching, as the economy, public health and environment are all set to benefit from this news. 

“This is an excellent step towards allocating 10 per cent of transport spending on active travel, which Cycling UK campaigns for through the collaborative Walk Cycle Vote campaign.”

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK’s Chief Executive said:

“What a move from Scotland! This unprecedented level of investment into active travel from a national government clearly shows the First Minister means business when she talks of addressing Scotland’s environmental and health commitments. 

“Once again, we’re seeing Scotland setting the bar high, and this time on Active Travel. Cycling UK would urge England, Wales and Northern Ireland to look to their own public health and environment commitments, and follow in Scotland’s tyre tracks."

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. 
  2. For details on today’s announcement in Scotland see: 
  3. For details on funding of cycling and walking in England, see:…;
  4. For details on funding of cycling and walking in Wales, see p8.…;
  5. For details on funding of cycling and walking in Northern Ireland see:…;
  6. For more information on Walk Cycle Vote, go to 


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