Funding for sustainable transport
Details of a a £50 million fund to promote sustainble transport over the next four year have been announced.
Transport Minister Keith Brown today met with pupils at Wardie Primary School in Edinburgh who are currently taking part in a Sustrans’ I-bike project, one of a range of initiatives which will benefit from this funding.
"The Scottish Government is committed to promoting sustainable and active travel. The Future Transport Fund provides opportunities to invest further in low-carbon transport, working with a range of delivery bodies across the country.
"One of our key priorities now is to create the conditions for change, and in Scotland at the current time that means a focus on sustainable economic growth. These investments will support that goal through the opportunities for Scottish businesses, as well as the wider benefits to society.
"Through this capital investment package totalling £11 million over 2012/13 and 2013/14, Transport Scotland will take forward a range of sustainable transport initiatives, including cycling infrastructure, freight modal shift and low carbon vehicles, and reduce the impact of transport on our environment.
"While current budget constraints mean some projects will be delivered in the longer term, we are committed to increasing the funds available from Future Transport Fund over the next few years. This initial £11 million provides a platform on which to build further developments in these different areas of sustainable transport."
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, said:
"We’re delighted that the Minister has chosen to launch the Future Transport Fund at a school that Sustrans is working with to successfully increase the number of children walking and cycling to school. It’s a strong endorsement of the role of active travel in the government’s plans for delivering sustainable transport.
"Active travel schemes deliver a real return on investment and I hope the government will continue to fund such projects. Funding active travel initiatives, such as those within government’s own Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, provide they key to low-cost solutions for dealing with Scotland’s obesity crisis and meeting our ambitious carbon targets."
An announcement will be made early in 2013 about the allocation of an additional £18.75 million in 2014/15 which will continue the development of these areas of low-carbon investment. The total budget available to the Fund will be £20.25 million in 2015/16
These allocations will also draw in additional resources from local government and the UK government, as well as the private sector, enabling significant enhancement of the benefits it will bring.
Transport Scotland will work with stakeholders and partners to plan and deliver projects across the four years of the Fund to make the most effective use of this investment in supporting the transition to low-carbon transport. The allocation of the first £11 million under the Future Transport Fund for 2012-13 and 2013-14 are:
Cycling Infrastructure - 2012-13,£1.5 million - 2013-14,£1.25 million - Total,£2.75 million
Freight Modal Shift - 2012/13,£0.75 million - 2013/14 £2 million - Total,£2.75 million
Low Carbon Vehicles, including Green Buses - 2012/13,£1.0 million - 2013-14, £4.5 million - Total,£5.5 million
Total - 2012/13,£3.25 million - 2013/14,£7.75 million - Total,£11.0 million
These allocations will support delivery work in the following areas of activity:
- Work to support the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, particularly through our participation in the Plugged-in Places programme.
- Work by Sustrans, in partnership with local authorities, to continue the approach developed to date to implement priority infrastructure projects across Scotland, focusing on short community links to encourage more people to cycle and walk for their local everyday journeys, as well as work on our National Cycle Network.
- A third round of the Scottish Green Bus Fund in 2013/14, to build on the achievements of the 2011 fund and enable operators to include more routes serviced by low carbon vehicles.
- The continuation of Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) - a capital grant scheme which encourages the transfer of freight from road to rail or where the road option is cheaper.
Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government’s national transport agency responsible for; aviation, bus, freight and taxi policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility; the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers.
Sustrans work with schools in Scotland has seen the number of children cycling to school almost double, with nearly 20 per cent of students at Sustrans schools now cycling at least once a week.