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SPOKES Leaflet 74, Late 1998 - Web Page 2

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Editor: Dave du Feu .Printer: Barr Printers Print run: 11,000
Copyright details: SPOKES may be quoted freely, if the source is acknowledged and our address given.


Our fourth annual survey of mainland Scottish council transport departments shows a continuing fall in overall transport budgets, and a parallel drop in sums budgeted for cycling and SRS. There is no sign of the increased priority to cycling needed to meet government targets [earlier article] - despite cycling being "a vital mode in reducing car-use" [Scottish Office Transport White Paper].

One bright spot is that much external funding has been raised - but this may well decrease in future - see below.

The £70.5m total of 1999/2000 capital transport budgets by Councils [col b in table, excl. Dundee - note w] is a 10% fall on 1998/99's £78m actual expenditure. It is hard to believe that, before the massive 1995/96 Conservative cuts, council transport expenditure was twice its current figure! And, since then, councils have repeatedly used their discretion to squeeze more funds out of transport into other services.

A feature of several survey contacts was the evident disappointment of many Cycle Officers at the difficulty of getting support for cycle projects in the face of continually falling transport budgets. One who had worked hard on a package of outside funds for a Cycle Development Officer had the council's small contribution scrapped at the last moment - killing the scheme. Another said "We have lots of ideas, but no money". Several were reluctant to send in forms showing how little their Council had allocated.

Even amongst councils raising serious outside funds there was concern that several such sources were ending, and that reduced council budgets might anyway make it impossible to provide the necessary matching funds.

Staff are also very worried about the long-term decline in council funds for maintenance of local roads - vital for cyclists (and at a time when the government is spending hugely increased sums on maintenance of trunk roads!)


Within transport, councillors are not prioritising cycling. Money for cycle and SRS work has stayed around 3.3% of the total for several years, so is falling in parallel with overall transport reductions. Councils across Scotland plan to spend £2.3m of capital funding on cycle/SRS schemes in 1999/2000 compared to £2.6m spent last year [cols f,g].

Top Council in percentage terms remains West Lothian [18.5%]; then Dumfries & Galloway [11.6%], Glasgow [8.4%], and Angus [6.5%] at twice the Scottish average.


The trend to outside funding sources such as Lottery, ERDF, LECs, landfill tax, Sustrans, private developers, etc, has continued; with Councils raising £4.4m [col i] for cycle projects - now double the spend from their own resources! However, over half this £4.4m has been raised by just 3 councils! - D&G [£839k], Fife [£784k], and Moray [£700k].

But the end of Lottery Millennium funding and of the Scottish Office Cycle Challenge, and completion of the Y2000 Sustrans core network, all mean reduced future options for outside funding. Also, it is clear from survey replies that some council money has been 'matching funds' to encourage outside sources. Such matching funds may suffer too, if there are less outside sources.


Our other indicator, total cycle/SRS expenditure [council +external] per head of population [col k], puts Moray as top council [814p per head], followed by D&G [696p], Clackmannanshire [388p], Stirling [380p] and, over £2 per head, Perth & Kinross, Fife and Falkirk.

Scotland-wide, little more than £1 per person is spent on cycle schemes. The German Environment Ministry, in contrast, reckons £20 per head is needed [Surveyor 11.9.97].


Dumfries & Galloway is first or second on all above indicators! The council is to spend £3.5m over 2-3 years, from its own transport budget, ERDF, PTF, Sustrans, Sports Lottery, and other sources. Projects under the D&G Cycling Initiative include the Sustrans NCN, community links to it, urban cycle facilities including a major Dumfries network, and associated SRS and tourism initiatives.

An insight on outside funding comes from Moray - with top cycle/SRS expenditure per head of population, but not spending a penny of its own! - thanks to big outside funding for a long-distance Sustrans NCN route and a developer-funded Elgin/Lossiemouth commuter cyclepath. But Moray [which also achieved the highest cycle-to-work rate of any Scottish council in the 1991 census] could easily be down from over £8 per head to zero next year!

Cycling/SRS work in Glasgow has steadily increased in recent years, and this year's cycle/SRS expenditure is one of Scotland's best as a percentage of the transport budget - way over Edinburgh's shrinking figure! Projects include a 7km network linking 6 universities/colleges [over 55,000 students/staff], city centre schemes, Sustrans NCN routes, and bike parking. There will be extensive help for cyclists in Quality Bus Corridors [c.f. Edinburgh Greenways], such as Clydebank-CityCentre-Easterhouse, with Scottish Office funding obtained by Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire.

Perth & Kinross and Scottish Borders set up Cycle Forums some time ago. These are leading to higher cycle budgets and inclusion of cycling in other initiatives. Perth
Transport Plan, for example, is designed to benefit cyclists, and a flood-prevention scheme includes £167k of riverside paths. The established Forums also put the councils in a better position to apply for serious outside funding.

The Forth-Circular councils [bottom row of table] have largely given up their lead [Spokes 70], with increases in Falkirk and Stirling outweighed by falls elsewhere. At the same time the Forth Estuary Forum has recommended a Forth-Circular path as an early priority!


We don't normally list B&Bs etc, but in view of D&G Council's superb work we'd like to mention Irene Pearson's bike-friendly/rail-friendly Dumfries B&B. 01387.252262.


Like last year, cycle/SRS support does not depend on the type of area, but on having forward-looking councillors and staff. Top council allocations for cycling/SRS [col h] are budgeted by one city [Glasgow], one rural council [D&G], and one mixed area [West Lothian].

In general, councils who have spent little on cycling/SRS in the past remain uninterested. Of the 11 who spent under 1% of their budget on cycling in 98/99 [most of these spent nothing], only two rise above 1% in 99/00 - Scottish Borders and Perth & Kinross. This shows yet again that government exhortation is not enough - financial sticks and carrots are essential. Over half Scotland's councils spend under 2% of their transport capital budget on cycle/SRS work - the government must change the rules!

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Table showing results of council survey
a. Council name 

[mainland only] 

[best entries are in bold type]

99/00 council capital transport £k
Tot. cycle cap £k (cols c+d+e) h. col f as % of col b external  k. cols f+i, pence p/head  Tar-get set?  Cycle staff FTE  Bike audit procedure?
b. total transp capital c. cycle budget d. SRS budget e. other cycle element funding £k
f. 99/00 g. 98/99  i.99/00 j.98/99
Aberdeen 1790m 10  10  100  0.6%  400  220  192p  X 75  S
Aberdeenshire 3200m! 50  50  25  125  142  3.9%  10  16  60p  Z Y
Angus 1988m 30  75  25  130  120  6.5 20 50  136p Z 10!  S
Argyll & Bute 1900 0x 0.0%  0 0* 0p N ~10  N
Clackmannanshire 1095m 30  30  65  2.7%  160  400  388 X r S
D & G 1585m 126  58  184  135  11.6 839e  99  696 Z 150  SF
Dundee w ? 0* 62* 0 98  0p Z <10  N
E Ayrshire 950 0z 0z 0.0%z 0 0p N SP
E Dunbartonshire w No reply received by print deadline
E Lothian 514mn 5n 1.0%  6p  N <10  F
E Renfrewshire 700 20  20  80  2.9%  24  32p  Z 20  S
Edinburgh 11039 96s 91  187  322  1.7%  511  300  155p  Y 190  Y
Falkirk 3686m 115t 100t 215  79  5.8%t 85  208pt Y 40  S
Fife 3464m 0u 0* 363  0.0%* 784f  361  225p Z 260  TP
Glasgow 6799m 346  20  205  571  401  8.4 0*$ 339  92p*$ Y 300  TP
Highland 6000m 40  40  40  0.7%  130  20  82p  N 100  SP
Inverclyde w No reply received by print deadline
Midlothian 1600 25  30  15 1.9%  110 0 173p  N T
Moray 2399 0.0%  700g  110  814 N N
N Ayrshire 510 0.0%  0 0p C <3  S
N Lanarkshire w No reply received by print deadline
Perth & Kinross 1473 20  10  30  2.0%  288  239p  Y <20  ST
Renfrewshire w ? 0.0%  0p  ? ?
Scottish Borders 2389 45  20  65  25  2.7%  25  0* 85p  W 10  S
S Ayrshire 500 0.0%  170  149p  Y 10  Y
S Lanarkshire 3243 32  55  87  59  2.7%  45  28p  N S
Stirling 3156 103s 0s 103  85  3.3%  212 380p C 50  F
W Dunbartonshire 480m 0.0%  4$  4p N S
W Lothian 1446m 81  144  42  267  397  18.5 94  175p  X r S
Totals / averages excluding Dundee, Renfrewshire [capital budget unknown]; and E. Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, N. Lanarkshire [no reply]
61906 1124  658  317  2099  2432  3.4%  4456  2083  156p 
Totals / averages for all councils except Dundee, using 98/99 or 97/98 figures for E. Dunbarton, Inverclyde, N. Lanark, Renfrew
70511 1308  664  317  2289  2622  3.2%  4466  2093  138p 
Totals / averages for Forth-circular councils [Clackmannanshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Stirling, W Lothian]
23886 425  335  42  802  1311 3.4%  1752  1155  208p 
ERDF European Regional Development Fund
LEC Local Enterprise Company
NCS Government National Cycling Strategy
PTF  Scottish Executive Public Transport Fund
SRS Safer Routes to School
Column e: £k for cycle schemes from council transport capital other than cycle or SRS budgets e.g. cycle lanes, ASLs etc as part of council-funded bus schemes.
Column i & j: £k for cycling from non-council funds, including Sustrans, S.O. Cycle Challenge, ERDF, LEC.
Targets column: Y=yes; Z=yes [government target adopted as local target]; X=unquantified target 'contribute to government target'; W=targets on council actions, not cycle levels; N=no target; C=considering setting target.
Audit column:
Y Formal cycle audit in place (see NCS)
F Formal cycle audit being developed (e.g. as in NCS)
T All traffic/road schemes checked re. cycle facilities
S Existing safety audit includes cycling
P Planning (development control) audit
I Informal or no audit/check
* Plus significant other unquantified sums in this heading
** Plus substantial unquantified sum for bus/cycle corridor
! Unknown - used data from previous year's survey
e Mainly Europe + cycle element of PTF scheme
f Mainly Millennium Commission & Europe
g Mainly developer, Europe & Sustrans
m Plus ring-fenced external funds - SE Trans Challenge/PTF
n Provisional figure
r Specialist staff time allocated, but amount unknown
s Budget £140k but overspend last year
t Includes last year carry-over (£50k col c + £50k col d)
u Overspend last year to cover delayed external funds
w Excluded from totals/averages in table, for reason shown
x Cycle budget agreed for future years
z Bids or uncertainties may provide (extra) cycle funding
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