FIFE MSP SAYS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT ACTIVE TRAVEL SCHEME COULD BOOST GLENROTHES’ GREEN CREDENTIALS
Published date : 05 May 2020
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has encouraged Fife Council to apply for the Scottish Government’s new £10 million ‘active travel scheme’ to implement temporary travel measures following social distancing guidelines during Covid-19 coronavirus.
A Greenspace Scotland report found that Glenrothes has more than three times the Fife average of publicly used green space and a large number of surrounding cycle paths, so the town is well positioned to benefit from the funding.
With increased rates of cycling and a decline in the number of car journeys, Scotland’s towns and cities will now have the power to reallocate road space to make it safer for those who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips or exercise.
This will be supported by a £10 million package of guidance and support to local authorities from Transport Scotland and Sustrans Scotland for improvements such as widened pavements and cycle lanes.
£10 million is being reallocated from the ‘Places for Everyone’ budget to deliver the new ‘Spaces for People’ initiative with no match funding from local authorities required, while continuing to support previously committed projects.
Commenting, the Glenrothes MSP said:
“As we face such difficult and unprecedented times, I welcome the Scottish Government’s decision to invest in temporary, active travel measures.
“I know how fantastically well served Glenrothes is with cycle paths and there is an opportunity to turn temporary measures into lasting benefits for the town. This funding is a great opportunity to further Glenrothes’ green credentials by investing to upgrade existing cycle paths or create new ones for the public to enjoy.
“Cycling around Glenrothes has been one of the ways I’ve spent my daily exercise and I hope Fife Council will apply for this vital funding to further increase access to the outdoors for the people I represent.”
Following a statement to the Scottish Parliament confirming the measures, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, said:
“I’m pleased we are able to put forward a package of support for our local authorities to implement temporary active travel measures, helping to ensure that people can walk, cycle and wheel during this public health emergency whilst physically distancing and keeping safe from traffic.
“I have written to every local authority in Scotland to advise them that the ‘Spaces for People’ initiative is designed with agility and pace in mind. Our communities need this support quickly, especially with the welcome increases in cycling we are seeing across the country. At the same time, almost every journey starts and ends on our pavements in some way, and so it is vitally important that people can physically distance for those essential trips or for exercise.
“Infrastructure is only part of the response and I’m struck by the many organisations, including our Active Travel Delivery Partners, who are providing support to keep key workers moving and help with deliveries for those who require it. I want to give my thanks to them – please know your efforts are incredibly valued.
“For our air quality, climate, health and particularly for our mental wellbeing at this time, walking and cycling remain our most beneficial form of transport. We should all be encouraged by the increases we are seeing in cycling and this government will do what it can to continue to support this through our recovery and beyond.”
Notes to editors:
Photo attached: Jenny Gilruth MSP on Glenrothes cycle path during Coronavirus pandemic
For information on available support for key workers please visit: https://www.sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/cycles-for-key-workers/
For cycling advice please visit: https://www.cycling.scot/covid19-information/cycling-advice
For guidance on walking during ongoing restrictions please visit: www.pathsforall.org.uk/covid-19
For more information on how the Scottish Government is building an Active Nation please visit: https://www.transport.gov.scot/active-travel/developing-an-active-nation/