Sustrans and the Scottish Government have announced £14m of grants to build better cycle routes across Scotland. Added to an extra £18m from councils and other partners, the money will pay for over 130 projects.
The ‘Community Links’ schemes range from urban cycling improvements to rural cycleways bypassing busy A roads, and from the Borders to Shetland and Orkney. Among the projects are:
- Improvements to Leith Walk, Edinburgh (£3.6m)
- Innocent Railway Path, via the Meadows to the Union Canal, Edinburgh (£0.5m)
- Dunfermline and Glenrothes cycle schemes (£1.1m each)
- Corran Ferry to Ballachulish in the Highlands, NCN route 78 (£0.45m)
- River Lossie Cycle Track, Elgin (£0.4m)
- Canal towpath surface upgrades (£0.67m)
The biggest winner is Edinburgh, where the already announced scheme to improve Leith Walk – which promises “significant sections of uninterrupted cycle space including sections of dedicated on and off road cycling” – has been joined by a new path from the Meadows and the Innocent Railway Path to the Union Canal towpath. Meanwhile, in Glasgow, a two-mile stretch of shared use path will be put in place along the south bank of the River Clyde from Richmond Park to the Tradeston Bridge.
Sustrans says this is the first time that such large-scale ‘exemplar’ projects have been funded. Tom Bishop from Sustrans said:
“It is clear that there is a real appetite to improve cycling facilities across Scotland as we received an all-time record high number of applications to our Community Links Programme this year – over 200 in total. The installation of these new cycling facilities will give people the opportunity to travel actively on a regular basis.”
Transport Minister, Keith Brown, added:
“I am encouraged by the number of local authorities who have put forward exemplar projects which could make a difference to helping more people to walk and cycle for everyday local journeys. This programme will help to deliver our commitment to the shared vision as reiterated in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland 2013, that by 2020 10% of all journeys will be by bike.”