October 2013

Cycling Investment: Spokes Autumn Public Mtg – 19 Nov

The Scottish Government has announced a welcome increase in cycling investment in the 14/15 draft budget – but funding drops again in 15/16 and in any case is nowhere near enough to meet the government’s own ambition for 10% of all journeys in Scotland to be by bike by 2020…

Latest!! Competition prizewinning photos/captions Cycling with a Purpose will be on display at mtg

What is needed for investment in cycling and active travel as a whole in Scotland, and how can we campaign for that?  Find out what’s happening and get your ideas over at our autumn public meeting…

The Panel

  • John Lauder  –  Director of Sustrans Scotland.  John will summarise their current work with Councils and other bodies across Scotland, and what could happen if (or when!) government funding for cycling reaches European levels

When, Where, What

Date: Tuesday 19 November
Time:  7.30 – open 6.45 for coffee, stall, exhibition and chat
Venue:  Barclay Viewforth Church, Bruntsfield Place [Note: this is not our usual venue]
More info:  gregmccrackenAThotmail.co.uk   07969 165156
Poster:  Download here [pdf 237K].  Printed copies will also be available and will be sent to members in our late-October mailout.

Take Action Right Now!!

  • Support the SCCS email-action seeking a doubling of cycling investment in 2014/15 and continued increases thereafter until it reaches 10% of total government transport spending.  [Update] By today, 4 October, 700 emails have already been sent!!
  • We Want to See Double – come to the SCCS lunchtime demo, 1-1.30 on Weds 30 October.  Put the date in your diary now, and pass on the details to concerned friends and colleagues.

Background to Future Cycling Investment

The announcement of an extra £10m for 2014/15 is a welcome recognition of the value to public health and the economy of cycling investment – but government cycling investment will still only be around 1.5% of the total transport budget.  To give the slightest hope of the government meeting its own target for 10% of all journeys to be by bike in 2020, cycle funding needs to be 5% of the transport budget now, as calculated in our CAPS submission earlier this year, and we support SCCS, the Association of Directors of Public Health and many other expert and professional bodies, from the Institute of Highway Engineers to the British Heart Foundation, in their call for 10% for active travel as a whole.

For 15/16, unfortunately, the picture is less rosy than it sounds.   Certainly, there is £10m ‘new money,’ but £5m of other 14/15 money (so called Barnett Consequentials) is no longer there.

Thus total Scottish Government cycling investment, in very rough round terms, looks like this [more detail in next Spokes Bulletin]

  • 2012/13  £18m = approx 1% of total transport
  • 2013/14  £20m = approx 1% of total transport
  • 2014/15  £30m = approx 1.5% of total transport
  • 2015/16  £25m = approx 1.25% of total transport

The picture beyond 14/15 is the opposite of what is needed.  If the government is serious about growing everyday cycle use substantially it should be ramping up investment, building expertise and experience in every Scottish Council.

Meanwhile huge sums have been promised for road programmes – the costliest so far being £3000m to dual the A96 and £3000m to dual the A9 – and probably resulting in a transfer from rail to road [see Transform and SAPT].

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