October 2013

Oct 30: Come along to double the Budget!

Hundreds of people will gather outside the St Andrews House government offices at  1.00-1.30pm on Weds 30 October to call on Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP, the man in charge of the 2014/15 Scottish budget, to double investment in walking and cycling.  Be there!!

The event is organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, an umbrella body for over 60 Scottish organisations including environment, community, faith and international development groups, trades unions, student unions, and of course transport and cycling groups such as SpokesTransform and Pedal on Parliament.

A similar SCCS event two years ago marked the turning point in a successful campaign by Spokes and many other organisations to reverse severe active travel cuts which the government had included in the draft 2012/13 budget [see Spokes 111 for the start of our campaign on the 12/13 budget; and Spokes 112 p1,6,7 for how the campaign developed and its successful outcome].

This year the draft budget for 14/15 does include a welcome rise in active travel investment but it is nowhere near adequate to meet the government’s ambition of 10% of all trips in Scotland to be by bike in 2020.  There is growing cycle use in Edinburgh, but, for Scotland as a whole, only 1% of all trips are by bike (around 2% of work trips).  Furthermore, under the draft budget, cycling investment peaks in 14/15 and starts to fall back again in 15/16 [there is £10m ‘new’ money in each of the two years, but cycling investment in another part of the budget declines by £5m in 15/16].



Spokes has made a written submission [doc 77k] to the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee for their scrutiny of the draft budget.   Our submission covers…

  • The government’s 2020 target for 10% of all trips to be by bike.
  • What changes are in the draft budget?
  • What investment is needed to reach the 2020 target?
  • Why it is critical that the ICI Committee recommend what in the budget should be cut in order to increase active travel funding
  • The government’s current poor performance on its own relevant ‘National Performance Framework Indicators’ [pdf 4.7MB] and why more active travel would help reverse this

See also submissions on the budget by other organisations.

We particularly recommend the submission by Transform Scotland which goes into more detail on the relationship between Scottish Government transport spending priorities and its disappointing National Performance Indicators.   Transform Scotland recommends refocusing Scottish Government transport spending on measures including…

  • Making road maintenance the focus of the Government’s roads policy
  • Increased investment in active travel infrastructure

Transform’s submission shows how such a refocussing of transport spending would contribute to the Scottish economy as well as fostering growth in sustainable transport.




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