Johnstone: Cycle Plan Needs Cash To Succeed

Alison Johnstone MSP is calling for today’s revised Cycle Action Plan for Scotland to be matched with new funding from across Scottish Government budgets to meet its ambitions.

Alison led a Scottish Parliament debate on cycling last year, and started the Cross Party Group on Cycling.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Co-convenor of the Cross Party Group on Cycling said:

“There is much to welcome in this revised plan but funding remains the biggest weakness and we can’t expect everyone to do more without new money. Investing in better infrastructure isn’t cheap, but will save our health service a huge amount and we should draw far more on the large health budget and look at raising more income too. We need creative thinking from the Scottish Government to build a once-in-a-generation fund to bring our streets up to European standards.

“The Scottish Government and local authorities must now rise to meet the challenge of delivering this plan, drawing on the expertise of cycling organisations and from countries that are way ahead of us. An annual summit of local transport leaders should provide much needed political leadership, but there is still no clear path mapped out to show how we are going to get to 10% of journeys by bike.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that the Greens’ call for all pupils to have access to on-road cycle training by 2015 has been included as an outcome, but to achieve this we are going to need more paid trainers in our schools.

“I’m disappointed that the Minister is dismissing the debate on strict liability before really listening to the arguments. We need to rebalance the relationship between motor vehicles and cyclists on our roads, and using the law to do this deserves serious discussion.”