February 2013
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CAPS Refresh : Spokes view

Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, Spokes calls for political leadership and adequate funding if the government is to move towards its own 2020 target of 10% of trips to be by bike…

Cycle use in Scotland is only rising slowly [although faster in some areas such as Edinburgh] – and without a big shift in present policies there is no hope of achieving the 2020 target – as confirmed in a progress report by Cycling Scotland.  The government is now consulting on how to ‘refresh’ its policies and the Cycling Action Plan

In the Spokes response to the CAPS refresh consultation [pdf 158k] we call for…

  • Adequate funding [4.2] – we show why 5% of the transport budget is essential to give the slightest hope of meeting the 2020 target.
  • Political leadership [2.1] – we support the Cycling Scotland idea of an annual summit between the Transport Minister and top council transport officers/councillors, but we also need to see such opinion-makers leading by example.
  • Transfer of roadspace [1.2] – to allow for cycle-friendly infrastructure
  • Major experimentation with onroad segregated cycle routes [2.4]
  • Transport Scotland high-level restructuring [1.3] – to ensure full cycling integration in all relevant projects, preventing unintegrated projects like the Forth Crossing, Bathgate-Airdrie railway, Edinburgh tram, Gogar rail/tram station, and so on…
  • Full implemention of the transport modes hierarchy [2.2.1] – national policy says opportunities for personal travel should be prioritised in the order: walking, cycling, public transport, car.  This rarely happens either in council or government projects [e.g. previous bullet point!]
  • New guidelines on domestic bike storage [2.2.3] – notably, householders should be allowed a shed or container of modest size and discreet colouring, even in their front garden, without endless planning hassles and costs.
  • Realistic assessement of promotion and safety policies [1.4] – the government must take seriously the possibility that some of its policies on safety and promotion may actually be discouraging cycle use and increasing casualties.
  • ‘Strict Liability’ to be given higher priority [2.3] – the assumption in a crash between a motor vehicle and a walker or cyclist should be that the driver is at fault unless proved otherwise, and ditto for the cyclist in a crash with a walker.  See also our paper on this.

Finally – although many of these actions will be delivered at local level, through councils and bodies like Sustrans, the primary responsibility for ensuring it happens lies with the Scottish Government.   The Government set the 2020 10% cycle-use target.   It is up to the government to ensure the policies and conditions through which that target can be achieved.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Contact your MSPs.  Tell them the top 2 or 3 things you want to see included in the CAPS Refresh.  Ask them to raise your points with the Transport Minister and to let you know the outcome.   Find your MSPs at www.writetothem.com.

For other related documents see our National Submissions page.

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