No new roads: build cycle and walkways instead

Crop cycle path

The organisations also want better - and integrated - public transport

Graham Martin's photo

22nd October 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

New road building must be ended in Scotland – and more cycle lanes and walkways created.

That’s the opinion of eight walking and cycling groups, who want more street space for people on foot and bikes.

Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Forth Environment Link, Living Streets, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans Scotland and Transform Scotland issued the call as part of a joint response to the National Transport Strategy, which closes tomorrow (Wednesday, 22 October).

The organisations highlighted how a focus on walking and cycling, along with affordable and accessible public transport, is best placed to deliver Scotland’s transport priorities.

And they called for an end to government investment in the creation of new trunk roads, to help make sure that journeys on foot, bike and public transport were prioritised before cars.

This, they said, will help tackle inequality, reduce carbon emissions and improve health and wellbeing across the country.

In addition, the groups want to see space taken from private vehicles to make more room for walking and segregated cycling and affordable and integrated public transport.

Sustrans deputy chief executive John Lauder said: “The new National Transport Strategy takes a big step forward. The way we travel plays a huge role in our lives, so we’re especially pleased to see the strategy highlight the role transport can play in health and wellbeing.

“We know that walking, cycling and public transport are best placed to deliver the aims of the new strategy, and these priorities should be the focus to make it a success.

“This includes an end to expensive new road building schemes in order to tackle the climate emergency - this money can be better spent on sustainable, healthy alternatives.”

Clara Walker, executive director of Forth Environment Link, added: “We believe that by continuing to strengthen our National cycling and walking ambitions we will not only see improvements to our environment but also to public health.

“By increasing opportunities and funding for cycling and walking alongside improvements in the public transport network we will support our communities to make affordable and informed choices around how they travel.

“We are pleased to see the National Transport Strategy looking to strengthen integrated transport options. Those particularly in rural communities who experience higher public transport costs, will be able to look at multiple modes of transport as a real possibility and leave the car at home.”