Speaking ahead of a ministerial statement on Scotland’s cycling action plan, Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has called for a series of measures to boost biking.
Mr Rumbles’ demands include:
- New measures to address falls in the percentage of pupils walking or cycling to school, including giving all school pupils access to cycling proficiency training, as Parliament demanded in 2017.
- Encouraging the extension of 20mph speed zones;
- Ensuring that there are more dedicated and segregated cycle lanes
- Revising the current Cycling by Design guidelines to reflect international best practice and increase their authority to make them core national standards, ensuring safe provision for cyclists and pedestrians is built into the road system.
Under the SNP’s previous cycling plan, the proportion of journeys by bicycle stagnated at 1.5% despite Scottish Government targets for it to account for 10% of all journeys by 2020.
Mr Rumbles said:
“Promoting and improving cycling and cycling infrastructure is a win-win for all concerned, helping to improve local air quality and the health of the nation.
“The Scottish Government need to put the pedal to the metal, otherwise their 10% target will be nothing more than another broken SNP promise.
"Parliament has previously backed Liberal Democrat calls for every schoolchild to have the opportunity to benefit from cycle training. As well as tackling obesity and easing congestion on roads, this would help meet Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and reduce air pollution."
Notes to editors
Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson first announced the target in 2009, stating that it was "an ambitious target but one I believe is achievable". In 2009, 0.9% of all journeys were taken by bike compared to 1.2% today.
Mr Rumbles’ amendment backed by the Scottish Parliament was as follows:
S5M-08497.1 Mike Rumbles: The Promotion of Active Travel in Scotland - As an amendment to motion S5M-08497 in the name of Humza Yousaf (The Promotion of Active Travel in Scotland), insert at end "; further notes that less than 2% of children cycle to school; considers that equipping people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to cycle from an early age is essential to encouraging them to continue cycling as they get older, and believes that every schoolchild should have the opportunity to benefit from cycle training."