First-year triumph for active travel fund

Our Active Nation Fund awarded £1.2 million to eight projects to gets Scots walking, wheeling and cycling.

Representatives from each Active Nation Fund project, Transport Scotland and Paths for All stand in the grounds of the Forth Valley College Stirling Campus, the Wallace Monument and Ochill Hills standing proud in the background.

Our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Active Nation Fund (ANF), grant-funded by Transport Scotland, has awarded over £1.2m in its first year.

Grants of up to £300,000 were awarded to eight projects across the country, run by local authorities, colleges, regional transport partnerships and charities including developing school active travel hubs, e-bike loan schemes, and pop-up mobility hubs, all of which work at a national level, or across two or more local authority areas.

The fund aims to encourage more people to walk, wheel and cycle for short journeys, tackling health inequalities, and helping to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality.  

To celebrate the successful projects, Paths for All held a showcase event at the Forth Valley College’s (FVC) Stirling campus, whose ‘Power your journey to FVC, by Walk Cycle Wheel’ project is ANF-funded, to celebrate each of this year’s funded projects and their valuable contribution towards a happier, healthier and greener Scotland. 

Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie has commended the fund and projects which it has benefited and said, 

"I’m pleased to see the Active Nation Fund, delivered through Paths for All, support such a breadth of active travel initiatives in its first year.

“These projects will make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle for shorter everyday trips – which is great for our communities, wellbeing and our climate.

“This is all part of our record investment for active travel this year, and why we’ve committed to investing £320 million into active travel – all helping to support people to choose sustainable transport."

The ANF, in partnership with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government, was created to encourage people to change their everyday travel behaviour, getting people to walk, wheel or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys on a national or multi-regional level.

Kevin Lafferty, Chief Executive of Paths for All, said: 

“The Active Nation Fund is helping communities across Scotland to tackle the climate crisis – supporting more people to swap car use for walking, wheeling and cycling for everyday journeys. Switching from the car to active travel is something we can all do to make a real difference.

More active travel will also make roads quieter, safer and more attractive for people to walk, wheel and cycle – a virtuous cycle.

The Active Nation Fund is part of Paths for All’s, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme to encourage people to travel more sustainably, drive less and to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys or to use public transport for longer journeys.

We know that those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to walking or cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year”.

A total of eight projects across Scotland benefited from the fund with each project being awarded between £100,000 and £300,000. 

ANF awarded projects include: Forth Environment Link: Forth Valley Schools Active Travel Hubs, Forth Valley College (FVC): Power your journey to FVC by Walk Cycle Wheel, South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran): Go e-bike: Engagement events and loan scheme, Living Streets: Influencing Parents Travel Choices – Scottish Borders & South Ayrshire, Stella’s Voice: Access To Bikes Project, COMO UK: Pop-up Mobility Hubs, North Ayrshire Council: Beat the Street Active Nation 2024 and Transform Scotland: National Walking Campaign.

Supported by Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places, is Paths for All’s funding programme which exists to encourage people to choose smarter ways to travel. 

The programme supports public, third and community-sector organisations across the country to deliver active and sustainable projects, as well as supporting every local authority in Scotland to encourage more journeys by foot, bike and public transport.

Learn more about the Active Nation Fund

Watch the Forth Environment Link Success Story