The record funding has been allocated through the Scottish Government’s active travel budget and will be match-funded through applications to the Places for Everyone infrastructure programme, which is administered on behalf of Transport Scotland by Sustrans Scotland.
Sustrans has received project proposals from 30 local authorities for segregated paths, improvements to the public realm and other projects. The successful projects will be announced in the coming months.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Last year we doubled the active travel budget from £39 million to £80 million and we have maintained this record funding again this year to increase the speed of change in the number of people walking and cycling and to develop an active nation. While we are unlikely to reach 10% of all journeys made by bike by 2020, our ambitious push has led to good results in some areas, with Edinburgh now seeing rates of cycling at 9.8%.
“Infrastructure is key and I’m delighted that a record sum of money, £51 million prior to match funding, will be invested into Scotland’s communities through the Places For Everyone programme. I look forward to seeing the scale of ambition demonstrated by Scotland’s local authorities when the announcement is made in the coming months.”
Sustrans deputy CEO John Lauder, who is also national director of Sustrans Scotland, Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland, said: “We have seen real ambition in the applications from local authorities and other stakeholders for our new Places for Everyone infrastructure funding programme, which allows recipients of funding to double their budgets by matching their funding with Transport Scotland’s funds. This increased funding means that local authorities and other stakeholders such as community development trusts can make it easier for people to walk, cycle and wheel by delivering safe, well designed, high quality infrastructure.”