A third round of funding to increase walking, cycling and sustainable travel has been allocated £2 million from the Scottish Government’s active travel budget for 2020/2021.
Paths for All’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund has now opened for applications.
This year, the fund will support the Transport Transition Plan which is part of the Scottish Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the first time, the fund will support projects which encourage staying local, making fewer journeys and promoting home working opportunities.
This is in addition to the walking, cycling and public transport journey planning initiatives which are typically supported.
Grants available are between £5,000 and £50,000 and need to be match funded by public, community and third sector organisations who wish to encourage healthier and greener travel choices.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “The Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund continues to support innovative behavioural change projects which encourage active and sustainable travel choices.
“I’m pleased that we have previously provided £4.3 million through Paths for All in the first two years of the Open Fund, supporting 177 projects right across Scotland.
“We’ve seen increased rates of walking and cycling in recent months, coupled with improved air quality in our towns and cities. The Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund, which includes expert management and support from Paths for All, will help organisations that want to support this shift to more sustainable travel behaviour as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.”
Cycling Scotland is monitoring cylcing rates across the country and its latest statistics for April 2020 show there have been spikes as high as 130%.
Its data provides a snapshot at specific locations and indicates that cycling has increased during lockdown, particularly where cycling levels were previously low. Many cycling counters managed by Edinburgh and Glasgow Councils also show significant increases.
Cycling Scotland cycling data year-on-year increases April 2020:
Kirkcaldy (Dunniker Road): 130%
Larbert (Bellsdyke Road): 124%
Glasgow (Clyde Tunnel): 103%
Cambuslang (Clyde Walkway): 74%
Cargenbridge (near Dumfries): 62%
Stirling (Cornton Road): 57%
Ayr (Holmston Road): 54%