£1.7m in cycle friendly funding available to social landlords
Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly initiative has opened again for applications in 2020, meaning social landlords can apply to the £1.7 million allocation from the Scottish Government which supports more people to cycle.
The initiative is also open to workplaces, secondary schools and community groups across Scotland.
The Cycling Friendly fund aims to make it easier and more accessible to cycle in the places where people live, work, study and spend time – which this year will contribute to a greener recovery as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Organisations can apply for a range of initiatives, such as installing cycle parking, upgrading shower facilities for the future or buying bikes and maintenance equipment.
Campuses can also register their interest to receive funding that will make it easier for students in colleges and universities to cycle.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “I’m pleased we can again support high-impact behavioural change initiatives such as Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly programme which is critical to encouraging greater participation in cycling across Scotland.
“We’ve already provided £30 million this year to help support temporary infrastructure for walking and cycling to better enable physical distancing and to keep people safe from traffic. The Cycling Friendly fund will make things easier for cyclists at either end of their journey through improved amenities. For the first time, we’ve been engaging extensively through the Scottish Retail Consortium with Scotland’s supermarkets on the employer stream, and I’m optimistic that there will some exciting developments at some of our community retail hubs.
“Walking and cycling is key to improving our air quality, protecting our climate and benefits our health and wellbeing. At the same time, active travel directly supports our Transport Transition Plan and is critical to help manage demand on the public transport network as a result of physical distancing.
“The increases we have seen in the numbers of people walking and cycling across Scotland have been widely reported and are incredibly welcome. I’m determined that we will continue to support this sustainable shift in travel behaviour and continue to build an Active Nation.”
Kath Brough, head of behaviour change at Cycling Scotland, added: “During lockdown we’ve seen the important role that bikes have played in helping key workers get to work, supporting people to make essential journeys as well as keeping people fit and healthy.
“As we look to move forwards from the Covid-19 pandemic, choosing to travel in a healthy and environmentally-friendly way will be absolutely vital. We’re inviting and encouraging workplaces, schools and community groups across the country to apply for the funding to help people travel affordably and sustainably.”
Lee Craigie, active nation commissioner for Scotland, commented: “The way we choose to move around has a direct impact on other people’s health and the planet. Big employers have real power to help make the shift towards sustainable transport by incentivising cycling for their staff and in doing so, demonstrate what they value to their customers.
“I’m particularly delighted to hear that Scotland’s supermarkets are considering their corporate responsibility to ensure the communities they serve and the staff they employ benefit more from active ways to get to and from their stores.
“This will be good for our health, our economy and our environment. Access to transport is a social justice issue and I welcome the recognition of that by our larger employers.”