This article updates you on what is happening now…
Organisation responses to the draft budget
For detailed evidence on the likely impacts of the draft budget, read these submissions to the relevant Scottish Parliament Committees…
Spokes [pdf 184k]
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland [pdf 188k]
Sustrans [pdf 431k]
Transform Scotland [pdf 153k]
Living Streets [pdf 201k]
Cycling Scotland [pdf 388k]
WWF Scotland [pdf 36k]
Verbal evidence from Prof Tom Rye and Prof Ian Docherty [link]
Sustrans and Transform Scotland give verbal evidence on 2 November – you can watch online on Parliament TV.
Official budget documents [link] – draft budget, draft carbon assessment, etc
SNP response to concerns on cycle funding
Several Spokes members have already contacted their MSPs, and one SNP reply has been forwarded to us – from Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagi [pdf 49k].
His first point implies (but does not state) that he thinks cycle/walk funding in the SAT budget line will not be reduced. He is wrong – it has been confirmed* that walk/cycle funds from the SAT budget line are likely to be cut from £8m in 11/12 to £5 in 12/13 – as we predicted in the Spokes submission above. [*See Sustrans submission, which follows discussions with Scottish government].
But his main point is to put the blame for inadequate cycling investment onto councils. This in our view is a real cheek! Of course it is up to councils to decide which cycleroutes are most needed, and hopefully to come up with some local funding, but the real question is what funding government should contribute, if their national target is to be achieved or if they are serious about their climate and obesity objectives. It is not councils but the Scottish Government which has…
- set a target for 10% of all trips to be by bike by 2020 [CAPS, 2.0 & 6.1][pdf 1.5MB]
- included this target as a ‘milestone’ in its RPP proposals [2.6][pdf 3.4MB] to meet its statutory climate change emissions targets
- included this target as part of its national obesity strategy [6.12][link].
It is completely unreasonable, unrealistic, and unfair to councils, for the government to set such an ambitious target and not provide realistic funding towards meeting it. Spokes has shown clearly [Spokes budget submission above] that without funding at around £10 per head (just 2.5% of the total transport budget) the target is unrealistic – let alone with the cuts now proposed.
What you can do
Please contact your MSPs now – as in our article about the Spokes budget submission. Consultation on the draft budget is now well underway, so let your MSPs know what you think. Remember to make the point about the SNP manifesto promise, which is trashed by the draft budget.