£400,000 has been allocated to North Ayrshire Council (NAC) for pop-up walking and cycling infrastructure through the Spaces for People initiative, with measures such as widened pavements and temporary cycle lanes. The initiative is already helping people keep safe by allowing for physical distancing when walking whilst supporting a rapid increase in cycling rates.
With this fund now closed and emergency measures in place or being developed, attention has returned to permanent active travel, both in terms of new schemes and, where appropriate, building on temporary infrastructure.
These permanent schemes are funded by the Scottish National Party (SNP) Government and delivered by
Sustrans Scotland through their Places for Everyone programme. To further support local authorities to build permanent active travel infrastructure, the SNP Government has reducing the match funding rate for programme from 50% to 30%, meaning any application will now be 70% funded by Scottish Ministers to support a green recovery and help build an Active Nation.
Welcoming these developments, Patricia Gibson MP said:
“I am pleased that £400,000 has already been allocated to NAC to help support our green recovery and keep people walking, wheeling and cycling, the SNP Government has reduced the amount local authorities need to contribute towards permanent infrastructure.
“The Places for Everyone initiative is already producing some very innovative and ambitious projects. With this improved funding offer for permanent schemes, councils will be able to match their insight with their ambition and deliver high quality infrastructure to help build an Active Nation and encourage healthier and more sustainable travel.”
John Lauder, Deputy CEO of Sustrans and Executive Director for Scotland added:
“The huge interest and demand in the Spaces for People fund over the past few months has made it clear that people recognise the importance and benefits of travelling actively and sustainably for everyday journeys and exercise.
“Investment in measures that will improve both the economy and our health are very welcome. However, we also know that perceptions of safety, and the lack of choices for quiet or traffic-free walking and cycling routes to key destinations, are barriers to people considering a viable alternative to their car.
“I’m pleased therefore that the reduction in the match funding requirement for the Places for Everyone programme will make it even easier for NAC to design and build infrastructure which is safer for more people to walk, cycle and wheel for everyday journeys, helping to deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for everyone.”
Information on the Places for Everyone programme is available here.
The Spaces for People programme offered 100% funding to put in place temporary measures to enable physical distancing while walking, wheeling and cycling. It also provided guidance on using legislation to allow rapid delivery in addition to specialist advice from the SNP Government and Sustrans on topics including construction, public health, equalities and communications to support urgent implementation.
For information on how to walk, wheel and cycle during COVID-19 from active travel and accessibility organisations please visit: www.sustrans.org.uk/scotland-covid19-path-use
For more information on how the SNP Government is building an Active Nation please visit: