Friday, 22 March 2013

Help the Budget Help Cycling!

As described here and here there is an opportunity following the budget for the Scottish government to spend some capital money on cycling and cycling infrastructure. Decisions about how to spend the money are likely to happen quickly and cycling could be a beneficiary.  However, it won't happen unless we ask for it. We need you to send letters to your MSP's asking them to talk to John Swinney. We need them to put pressure on Mr Swinney to spend some of this money on cycling. I've done that. If you have time you could also send Mr Swinney an e-mail directly here ( for attention of John Swinney.

If we don't ask we won't get so PLEASE e-mail at least your MSP. Here is my e-mail to Mr Swinney. Please don't copy it, but hopefully it will inspire you to write as well.

Dear John Swinney MSP

As a founder and one of the core organisers of Pedal on Parliament I am
writing to you with regards to the Barnett consequencials resulting from
this years budget.

It my understanding that as part of the UK budget the Scottish
Government is to receive £279m of funds to be spent on capital
investment. I also understand that there is some disagreement about what
this money actually is, i.e. that it may be in the form of loans.
However, what is clear is that the money should be spent/invested in
such a way that it gives the maximum return to Scotland, not just in
terms of infrastructure generated, but in terms of economic return.

There have been many studies conducted into the very real economic
benefits of cycling, some of which are referenced in the Pedal on
Parliament manifesto ( It
has been shown that investment in cycling in the UK has a cost to
benefit ratio of up to 1:19, a large part of which is due to health
expenditure savings and productivity benefits.

London already understands this, which is why it is investing £913m over
the next decade to make London a cycle friendly city

With Scotland's commitments to climate change policy and it's commitment
to a 10% modal share of cycling by 2020 the time is now if we are to
invest in Scotland's future.  Whilst I am grateful that some extra money
is already being spent over the next two years (£6m), and that some
other money has already been committed, this really represents a drop in
the ocean of what is actually required of Scotland is to reach it's full

If some of this capital money was wisely spent on cycling we could start
the process of transforming Scotland into a wealthier, healthier, and
more dynamic modern Scotland. With your help, we could make Scotland a
cycle friendly nation.

Your Sincerely,

Dr David Brennan

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to post. It is important to demonstrate that demand does exist for better cycling facilities.

    A perfect opportunity would be to plan for cycling as part of any road upgrade or serious pothole repairs, a point not made enough I dont think ...
    South Glasgow GN