November 2014

Lothians interest – packed out meeting!

According to the janitor, 140-150 people attended the Spokes public meeting on Lothians cycling development…

Perhaps our biggest ever meeting, there was great interest in the 4 talks, followed by a challenging hour of questions and discussion.  A hands-up showed around 40 people who had travelled in from the Lothians, and virtually everyone in the audience had used a bike in the Lothians at one time or another.

Our member Alison Johnstone MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on Cycling, chaired the discussion session. Summing up the evening she had three main conclusions…

  • Government cycle funding is vital.  The 14/15 increase (from roughly 1% to nearly 2% of total transport spending) distributed via the Sustrans Community Links 50/50 match-funding scheme had made a really noticeable difference – as the West Lothian talk in particular had shown.   It was vital for this to continue, and worrying that the draft 15/16 budget suggested that Scottish government funding for cycling infrastructure looks set to be lower than in 14/15.
  • Council cycle budgets too are vital.  In particular they enable councils to double-up their cycling investment, if they then apply successfully for the government/Sustrans match-funding above.
  • Measure & publish.   Councils should obtain and publish data to help decide what cycling projects would be most useful, to inform high-quality bids for the Sustrans match-funding, and to evaluate the success of projects.

Resources from the Meeting

There is another article which concentrates on budget issues raised by the meetingand what you can do to help

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