June 2011

Bulletin 110: Cycling after the Election

What does Scotland’s remarkable election result, with an overall SNP majority, mean for cycling as a form of transport in Scotland?? …

New Spokes Bulletin 110, Summer 2011 [link to Bulletins page] reveals some positive signs and some equally big concerns.

Within 6 months we will see a Scottish Government Spending Review setting funding priorities for the next 3 years, and we will see the budget for 2012/13.

These two documents will show us very distinctly whether or not the new government is serious about its clear target that at least 10% of all trips are by bike in 2020 Now is therefore a vital time for concerned people to email their new MSPs.

The new Bulletin outlines the positive signs…

  • The SNP included the ‘at least 10%‘ target in the Report on Proposals and Policies which it placed before Parliament under the climate change legislation.   The RPP also suggests a significant level of funding for active travel (though there is no guarantee that this suggestion will be adopted).
  • The SNP manifesto promised to “increase the proportion of transport spending on … active and sustainable travel.
  • The previous SNP government proposed a retail levy which, if modified as Spokes proposes, could reduce the dominance of car-based shopping and entertainment, and help revitalise town centres, as well as raising revenue.

…  and our equally great concerns …

  • Under the previous SNP administration cycling investment fell every year until their final year, when it rose fairly significantly in the year before the election
  • The previous SNP administration tried to scrap the Cycling, Walking, Safer Streets fund, which goes to every Scottish council and is the heart and centrepiece of cycling investment in Scotland.  Its loss would be devastating, likely meaning no cycling investment at all in some Scottish councils.  CWSS was only saved as the minority SNP needed budget support from the Green MSPs – but now they have an overall majority.
  • The SNP has a massive trunk roads programme (as did the other ‘big’ parties) which will encourage more dispersion, more and longer-distance car travel, and will leave funds scarce for serious investment in active travel.

See Spokes Bulletin 110 [link] for what we think should happen – then please email your new MSPs about this, giving examples of what is needed in your local area if the government is serious about its target for at least 10% of trips to be by bike just 9 years from now.

Also in Spokes Bulletin 110 …

  • Why £50m annually is needed to give any hope of meeting the government’s own bike use target.   So far the government has not set out a planned and costed path to meet its target.
  • Spokes funding survey – investment growth in 2010/11 – worthwhile but still very inadequate in terms of the government’s bike use target
  • Edinburgh Bike Quality Corridor – good plans in general, but red surfacing is essential
  • A90 tourist, commuter and leisure route – our massive campaign history, what happens next, and how you can help
  • 2011/12 bike projects by Edinburgh & W Lothian councils
  • And lots more info and suggested actions…
  • Sustrans pull-out supplement [this forms a centre page pullout in the printed Bulletin, but online it is a separate download].

Also sent to Spokes members with their summer mailout, Spokesworker 30.5.11 [link] including…

  • Local news re: Meadows, Portobello, Edmonstone, Midlothian
  • Health & Safety news & controversy
  • Climate change & peak oil

Members also received…

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