Government to miss its own target on cycling

THE Scottish Government is set to miss its own targets on increasing the number of cyclists on Scottish roads.

MSPs said the government must spend more to meet its aim of increasing bicycle journeys by 10 per cent in the next decade. Holyrood's transport committee has raised the issue during an inquiry on "active travel".

In a debate in Parliament committee convener Patrick Harvie said: "The committee considers that the 10 per cent target will be meaningless if the Scottish Government fails to match its ambition with a realistic level of funding which is proportionate to the improvements it expects to see delivered across Scotland.

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"The target is a good one, an aspirational one, but it won't happen by magic."

He added that the issue of cycling must go further up the government's agenda.

Changes to encourage the activity could include an increase in 20mph zones in urban areas, he said. Other issues, such as the Scottish climate, are often seen as a barrier to cycling, MSPs were told.

Transport minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"We are in a period of financial constraint. We're keen to hear suggestions from members in all budget debates which policy areas should be given priority."