Conservative MSP Graham Simpson is calling on local councils to apply for new funding to implement cycling and walking paths locally and for the SNP Scottish Government to make these new measures permanent after lockdown measures are eased.
This week, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson announced £10 million of new funding for local authorities to provide “pop-up walking and cycling routes” to ensure pedestrians and cyclists have more space to get about amid social distancing restrictions.
With decreases in local traffic and increases in the number of people getting outside for their hour of daily exercise, pedestrians and cyclists will be given more space on roads with these new measures.
Local authorities in Scotland have been notified by government about the Spaces for People initiative and are encouraged to apply for funding. Once funding is approved, local infrastructure changes can be made quickly to accommodate new space on roads to allow the public to safely cycle and walk.
Graham Simpson, MSP for Central Scotland said:
“I’m encouraged to see so many people out cycling and walking for their daily exercise.
“There is so much to see and enjoy when you cycle or walk in your own community.
“Streets are quiet, the weather is changing for the better and the air is clean with reduced pollution levels. It’s a great time to get out cycling or walking for your daily hour of exercise while social distancing.
“It is vital that local councils help people to maintain their newly-formed healthy habits, and work with the Scottish Government to ensure that these temporary infrastructure enhancements are made permanent.
“If we have more people cycling and walking, we don’t want to spend £10 million and take away those measures and see things slip backwards.”