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Funding secured for Active Travel, now time to secure engagement from those with the powers to spend it

Published 17 March 2022 by Transform Scotland

Green traffic lights for pedestrians and cyclists against blue sky with clouds. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Transform Scotland has today sent a parliamentary briefing to all Members of the Scottish Parliament ahead of this afternoon’s debate, ‘Delivering on Active Travel Commitments’, which is being led by Scottish Government Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie MSP.

In our briefing paper, we welcome the commitment made by the Scottish Government to invest at least £320 million, or 10% of the transport budget, in active travel by 2024-25. However, argue that in order to achieve the needed transformational and fast-pace change, that strong leadership from our Ministers and senior civil servants must now ensue. Specifically, by supporting and driving forward the agenda with Local Authorities by giving them the necessary tools to implement change.

Transform’s director, Colin Howden, said:

“We strongly welcome the transformational levels of funding promised in the Programme for Government. We also welcome an emerging policy coherence, and the introduction of Ministerial-level responsibility.

“However, Local Authority engagement and levels of investment remains at best patchy. We are not convinced by the Motion’s expression of “hope” that Local Authorities will now show leadership. At Transform Scotland, we have observed decades of failure by most Scottish Local Authorities in this policy area, and the Ministers will need to do more than ‘being hopeful’ in order to deliver on its commitments.”