More than £1.7m will help Scots to get on their bike
A major new fund to boost cycling in Scotland has been announced.
A total of £1.79 million has been allocated from the Scottish Government active travel budget to support 173 organisations across Scotland.
Delivered through Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly programme – 148 employers, community groups, campuses and schools will benefit from funding of over £1,464,000. A further £234,622 was awarded to 13 registered social housing providers and £96,380 was awarded through the Cycling Friendly NHS Worker Fund to enable staff at eight health boards access bikes and support during lockdown.
Organisations will benefit from improved facilities such as new showers, new cycling parking, or providing bikes to employees who may not have access or maintenance equipment. It is estimated that more than 343,000 people can benefit from this support across the country.
Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “I’m pleased that public and private employers, schools, community groups and social housing providers all stand to benefit from Scottish Government funding –delivered through Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly programme. The breadth of organisations getting involved demonstrates the clear appetite across Scotland to lock-in the positive changes we’ve seen in travel behaviour over the last 12 months.
“We’re providing record funding for active travel. Coupled with our support for active travel infrastructure – by improving facilities and providing access to bikes, we can make it easier for people to choose active travel for everyday journeys.”
Kate Brough, head of behaviour change at Cycling Scotland, said: “Cycling rates have soared since the start of the pandemic and we are delighted to allocate Cycling Friendly funding across Scotland to help even more people travel by bike for everyday journeys.
“Key developments this year have included: a new Cycling Friendly NHS Worker fund to provide access to bikes for lower paid and temporary NHS key workers, a considerable investment in social housing facilities nationally, supporting employers from small medical practices to larger sites such as Glasgow Science Centre, increasing access to bikes in schools and campuses, and supporting community groups in a range of urban and rural locations.
“By funding cycling facilities such as bike racks and showers, over 343,000 people could benefit from the Cycling Friendly development grant funding this year and many more in the years to come.”
Link Housing Association will receive £20,000 to install external, secure bike parking for the 71 households living across their properties in North Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire, where there currently are no bike parking facilities. Sheila Maxwell, community investment officer at Link Housing, said: “Funding this proposal will address the current total lack of bike storage and allow tenants to comply with health and safety legislation around storage of items in communal stairwells.
“It will also encourage more tenants and their families to use bikes and make it easier for tenants who already have bikes to use them more.
“Above all, it will help establish a welcoming neighbourhood environment where tenants and their families can store bikes safely and get outdoors and use them more frequently.”