On 1st September, the Scottish Government published 'Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland, - Programme for Government 2020-21.
There is much in the new programme that is good news for active travel. There is a focus on a green recovery, health and wellbeing for everyone, and on continued commitment to active travel and making better places for people.
Commitment to a 5-year funded programme and active travel infrastructure
One positive experience of lockdown has been the increase in active travel. Research from Transport Scotland shows that cycling was the only mode of transport to show an increase in demand compared to last year. The Government are committed to building on these positive changes through funding active travel infrastructure schemes which connect towns and cities from the suburbs to the centres, connect housing to transport, enable active travel in rural areas and support the idea of 20-minute neighbourhoods.
The Government has committed just over £500 million over five years for active travel, including for local authorities and others to bid in for funding of large scale, transformational active travel infrastructure projects, reallocating road space in favour of walking, cycling and wheeling over cars.
Improving cycling and walking infrastructure will provide an environment where people feel safer when travelling by active modes.
Linked with feeling safer, the Government will publish ‘Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030’, a long‑term vision for road safety where there are zero fatalities or serious injuries on Scotland’s roads by 2050.
We are pleased to see an emphasis on 20-minute neighbourhoods. The 20-minute neighbourhood is an idea that is becoming popular across the world. It is where people can meet most of their essential needs within a 20-minute walk. This means you can do your shopping, join in with leisure activities, take your children to school, find local services like your GP practice and ideally get to work – all within easy access of where you live. It also means having greenspace on your doorstep and a local environment that encourages active travel to promote health and well‑being.
This will build on from some of the positive changes we’ve seen during the last six months while people have been at home more and commuting less.
We are pleased to see that the Government will establish a short life working group to examine the social prescribing of physical activity & identify & communicate examples of best practice & co‑produce resources for practitioners.
Keep up-to-date with everything going on at Stirling Active Travel Hub