Sustrans Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government’s focus on active travel and 20-minute neighbourhoods as a step towards meeting Scotland's ambitious climate targets.
John Lauder, Deputy CEO of Sustrans and National Director for Sustrans Scotland and Sustrans Northern Ireland said:
“Sustrans Scotland welcomes the Scottish Programme for Government, published Tuesday 1 September.
"In particular, we welcome the focus on a green recovery, on health and wellbeing for everyone, and on continued commitment to active travel and making places better for people."
Continued funding for active travel
Sustrans Scotland welcomes the continued commitment to funding active travel for the next 5 years which is a step towards meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate targets.
This is still a small proportion of Transport Scotland’s budget.
However, at a time where there is pressure on budgets elsewhere, continuity of funding will allow longer-term planning and provide local authority partners with the certainty they need to invest in making it easier for people to travel in a healthier, safer and more sustainable way.
Sustrans has been recommending that the government takes a long-term view of funding for active travel for many years.
And so we are particularly pleased with this outcome that will move towards achieving a just transition to a net-zero future.
Sustrans also welcomes the emphasis on 20-minute neighbourhoods in Scotland. We have been calling for this for some time.
The concept of having all your basic needs – shops, health centres, work hubs, places to socialise - within a 20-minute walk, cycle or wheel is core to creating liveable cities and towns for everyone.
More importantly, 20-minute neighbourhoods are key to creating communities. In the last 6 months, whether through walking, cycling or wheeling, people have rediscovered their neighbourhoods, communities, local shops and green spaces.
20-minute neighbourhoods will build on that legacy.
Infrastructure investment plan
We welcome the announcement of an infrastructure investment plan which we hope will be based on the infrastructure commission’s recommendations.
The strongest of which in our view is the recommendation to focus on building infrastructure that is good for everyone, rather than for the few.
Green recovery and green jobs
Green jobs are key to a green recovery. Many of these jobs can be created through focussing on zero-emission public transport, and investment in infrastructure for walking, cycling and making places better for people.
These projects can be delivered by Scottish companies and with Local Authorities, creating jobs here in Scotland.