The Scottish Government has announced ‘record’ funding of up to £51m for walking and cycling infrastructure in 2019.
The cash, which was announced in a statement to the Scottish Parliament by infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson, comes as the devolved administration struggles to meet its sustainable transport goals.
It has been allocated through the Scottish Government’s active travel budget and will be administered on behalf of Transport Scotland by Sustrans Scotland through the Places for Everyone infrastructure programme.
Sustrans has received project proposals from 30 local authorities for segregated paths, safety works and public realm improvements.
Following the statement, Mr Matheson said: ‘Last year we doubled the active travel budget from £39m to £80m and we have maintained this record funding again this year to increase the speed of change in the number of people walking and cycling and to develop an Active Nation.
‘While we are unlikely to reach 10% of all journeys made by bike by 2020, our ambitious push has led to good results in some areas, with Edinburgh now seeing rates of cycling at 9.8%.’
‘Infrastructure is key and I’m delighted that a record sum of money, £51m prior to match funding, will be invested into Scotland’s communities through the Places For Everyone programme.
Sustrans' deputy CEO and national director for Scotland, John Lauder, said: ‘We have seen real ambition in the applications from local authorities and other stakeholders for our new Places for Everyone infrastructure funding programme, which allows recipients of funding to double their budgets by matching their funding with Transport Scotland’s funds.’
Last September the Scottish Government acknowledged it needed to work harder to develop a sustainable transport network after statistics showed that cycling achieved a modal share of just 2% in 2017.
Graham Edmond of Transport Scotland is one of the judges for the the 16th annual Highways Awards this October. Online entry is open until 5pm Friday 21 June. Click here to get involved.