Cyclists handed £1m cash injection for new routes

There will be a number of new cycle routes built. Picture: Greg Macvean

There will be a number of new cycle routes built. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Cycling projects across the Capital are in line for a £1 million funding boost.

The Scottish Government has already pledged to give the the council £3.6m over the next two years for a major upgrade of Leith Walk’s cycle services.

And yesterday, a further £1.01m for city cycleways was announced by the Sustrans Community Links team on ­behalf of the government.

Around half of that will fund the first phase of a new route between the Meadows and the Innocent Railway path to the east, and the Union Canal west.

The money will also help upgrade the Leith-Portobello path, and design work on links from Roseburn to Union Canal and Leith Walk, and the Causey project at West Crosscauseway.

A total of £40,000 will be spent on signage for family-friendly routes around the city. Tom Bishop, Sustrans’ Community Links co-ordinator, said: “Our Community Links team has worked hard to ­carefully select the highest quality projects to fund and we look forward to working with partners to ensure their ­successful delivery.”

Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP said the ­programme would help deliver the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, which has a vision for ten per cent of all journeys to be by bike by 2020.

Alison Johnstone MSP, co-convener of Holyrood’s cross-party group on cycling, welcomed the news.

The Green MSP for Lothian said: “This is positive news for communities across Scotland, and I want to see even greater investment in safer routes for cycling in future years. The record number of bids for this funding reflects the rapidly growing demand for better ­cycling infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh ­Napier University will receive £25,000 to improve access at Bankhead Avenue near the Sighthill campus.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “This is excellent news from ­Sustrans. We have made a strong ­commitment to encouraging ­cycling and walking in Edinburgh as part of our ­Active Travel Action Plan and this funding will enable the ­council to increase investment in projects across the city.

“This year will see the implementation of a number of exciting cycling initiatives and, thanks to our partnership with Sustrans, we will now be able to implement projects such as the upgrade of the National Cycle Network Route between the Meadows and the Innocent Tunnel cycle path.”

East Lothian Council has secured £69,000, Midlothian Council has £50,000 and West Lothian Council was awarded £755,000 for a raft of projects over the coming year.