October 2009

Scottish Draft Budget 2010-11

The draft budget again effectively freezes investment in active travel – although that actually masks a slight fall in cycling investment from its existing tragically low level.

Meanwhile trunk road spending rises yet again.  In 2010-11 it will hit £1153m, up £233m from 2 years ago, whilst our research suggests Scottish cycling investment is now below £20m.   The very modest proposal in the Spokes submission to the Scottish Draft Budget 2010-11 is a new £20m Cycle Projects Fund.   This would more than double cycling investment whilst reducing reducing trunk road spending by less than 2%! Indeed, it would make only a tiny dent in the increase in trunk road spending!

We’d like to ask for more – like the Association of Directors of Public Health, the Institute of Highway Engineers, and other prestigious bodies who have asked for 10% of transport funding to go to active travel [pdf].   We fully support them.  However, we know that won’t happen this year – so our proposal is designed to be politically and practicably feasible for the coming financial year 2010-11.  Help us make it happen!!

This is in the same year that the Scottish Government has set a target of 10% of all journeys to be by bike by 2020!!!  It’s a European-style target, but no funding to go with it until 2012 at the earliest – and there’s no promises on that either.

If you are as outraged as we are, please contact your MSPs – an easy way is by using WriteToThem.com.   Ask them to speak to their party Transport Spokesperson and Finance Spokesperson, so that the draft budget is amended to start to take the cycling target seriously.  Ask them to let you know the result.

The Spokes submission to Scottish Draft Budget 2010-11 is detailed and fact-packed.  It covers important changes since the time of the last budget, which add further to the case for sensible investment in encouraging more people to use bikes more often for more of their everyday journeys.

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