Greens call for 10% of transport budget to be spent on walking and cycling

Green MSPs want more of the Scottish Government's transport budget to be spent on creating dedicated cycle lanes. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Green MSPs want more of the Scottish Government's transport budget to be spent on creating dedicated cycle lanes. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The Scottish Government should dedicate at least 10 per cent of its transport budget on walking and cycling, Green MSPs have said.

More money is required to improve pedestrian access in urban areas and create new dedicated cycle lanes to encourage more people to use bikes, the party claimed in a debate at Holyrood this week.

Ministers had put forward a motion welcoming the £80 million they plan to invest in walking and cycling in 2018-19.

But the Greens said this only represented around three or four per cent of the total transport budget, with the bulk of funding being spent on motorways and trunk roads.

The party’s transport spokesman John Finnie said: “We all agree that investing in walking and cycling brings great benefits, to public health, people’s pockets, local economies and the environment. But we cannot expect to enjoy these benefits with half-measures.

“We need better infrastructure, not marketing campaigns.

“Our vision is a carbon-free transport sector where walking and cycling are prioritised, where we have a national minimum standard for provision of active travel infrastructure, and where we have protected cycle lanes on roads in built up areas.”

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Ministers have previously announced the funding of five projects across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling which will see local authorities share over £22.5 million pounds over the next five years to deliver new segregated cycle paths.

A Transport Scotland spokesman told The Scotsman: “The Scottish Government continues to increase investment in active and sustainable transport. We have invested over £217 million in active travel since the start of the 2011 spending review, including this year, and as announced in the Programme for Government, we have doubled the active travel budget from around £40m to £80m a year from 2018-2019.

“This will allow us to continue to build an Active Nation for Scotland, boosting investment in walking and cycling and ensuring that as many people as possible can enjoy the environmental and health benefits of active travel.”