We value our partnerships with public, private and third sector organisations in Scotland. Part of that role is recognising and celebrating successes whilst pushing for the highest standards.
Working in collaboration in a small country is one of the great strengths of our work. By working alongside local authorities and other organisations it allows us to achieve shared goals for better walking and cycling infrastructure.
We greatly value our partnership with Transport Scotland, and the funding that allows us and our partners to deliver new walking and cycling infrastructure across Scotland through our Community Links grant programme, and large-scale, innovative, best practice projects through the Community Links PLUS design competition.
However, our role as a partner means that we must ensure that any proposed infrastructure delivers the best for walking and cycling.
We are disappointed with the choice for Sheriffhall roundabout, a crucial roads junction, which sits in an area between two rapidly expanding local authorities: Edinburgh and Midlothian.
Though we made recommendations to the public consultation on the design of the roundabout, in our opinion the chosen option ignores the needs of people walking and cycling.
Far from enabling the movement of both vehicles and people on foot or bike, we believe this will discourage walking and cycling between Dalkeith and Edinburgh, not to mention for new residents of planned housing developments and commuters to industrial and offices.
These developments are being realised now and may soon join the two local authority areas into a wider conurbation.
Funding for active travel in Scotland is at its highest level, and we welcome that. In the present financial climate, it takes strong leadership to prioritise walking and cycling.
But this is part of the reason why we are unequivocal about certain standards, and why we ask Government and local authorities to make brave decisions about infrastructure.
We think this decision should be revisited to find solutions that balance the needs of people walking and cycling and deliver better infrastructure.