Government ignoring demand for safer cycling routes; ministers set to fail target

The Scottish Greens today (30 Dec) accused the SNP Government of ignoring public demand for safer cycling routes as ministers look set to fail to meet their own target of ensuring that 10 per cent of all journeys in Scotland are made by bicycle within the next twelve months. 

The 2020 target is a long way from the current situation, with the most recent Household Survey showing that just 3 per cent of adults usually cycle to work and less than 1 per cent of children cycle to school. 

The Greens point out that increasing active travel such as walking and cycling is a key pledge within the Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Delivery Plan yet ministers only spend around six per cent of their £1.2billion transport budget on measures to support walking and cycling, with the bulk of funding going towards motorways and trunk roads.

John Finnie MSP, Transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“Whether commuting to work, getting to school or nipping to the shops, more and more adults and children realise that going by bike is cheap, healthy and quick. Sadly, the government is leaving Scotland in the slow lane, choosing instead to prioritise more motorways, trunk roads and airline travel.

“Last year Green MSPs negotiated with the Scottish Government to double the funding available but ministers must go further and faster. Investing in walking and cycling can help tackle everything from Type 2 diabetes to the air pollution that causes heart disease. With just a year to go, the ten per cent target should still be aimed for but ministers must shift up their commitment several gears.”

 Transport Scotland, quoting the government's Cycle Action Plan: "By 2020 10% of everyday journeys will be by bike." 

 Transport Scotland, quoting the Scottish Household Survey: “3.0% of adults usually cycle to work. 0.9% of children cycled to school.” 

 Physical Activity Delivery Plan