Cyclists and walkers get more space on Scottish roads under £60m boost

More cycle lanes are part of 60 million pound plans announced by the Scottish transport secretary. Picture: PA
More cycle lanes are part of 60 million pound plans announced by the Scottish transport secretary. Picture: PA

Radical plans to reclaim roads for cyclists and walkers including creating the “most accessible community in Scotland” have won £60 million of Scottish Government funding.

They include a “significant” removal of parking spaces from George Street in Edinburgh to provide space for segregated cycle lanes and wider pavements.

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The Places for Everyone projects by cycling and walking developers Sustrans Scotland will also see space on dual carriageways in Perth and Arbroath reallocated for bikes and pedestrians - the A912 Dunkeld Road and A92 respectively.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson visited Perth today, to mark the launch of the National Transport Strategy consultation. He is pictured here at Perth Library with Isabella MacDonald, seven, Elena Murphy, five, and Ethan Murphy, eight (centre). Picture: Wullie Marr Photography

In Glasgow, an area near the SEC entertainment complex will become a “mini Holland-style” network of segregated cycle paths linked to Exhibition Centre rail station to create the country’s “most accessible community”.

Another project will provide segregated cycle routes and improved pavements between Dennistoun, Port Dundas, Lauriston and the city centre.

These will link with the “Avenues” cycle lane and pavement widening such as on Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street.

Sustrans Scotland said the projects will help “connect communities and create liveable towns and cities.”

Edinburgh City Council transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “This ambitious scheme will reinvigorate one of the city’s most historic thoroughfares, prioritising active travel and creating liveable, thriving and people-friendly public spaces.”

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “We know cycling, walking, use of public transport and shared transport options all need to be more affordable, accessible and attractive if we are to make this vision a reality.”

However, campaigners Cycling UK said far more money must be allocated.

Jim Densham, its campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said: “The £60m committed to these projects is less than the cost of two miles of the project to turn the A9 into a dual carriageway, which highlights the extraordinary value for money of cycling and walking infrastructure.

“We therefore call on the [Scottish] Government to speedily develop and fund the projects not initially selected and show their ambition to make Scotland a truly active nation.”

Colin Howden, director of sustainable transport campaigners Transform Scotland, said: “A sustainable, inclusive, accessible transport system can only be delivered with a revolution in clean, accessible, affordable public transport.”