Walking and cycling charities call for an end to road building

Paths for All has joined Scotland's other leading walking and cycling charities to call for the new National Transport Strategy to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport

Walk to school

Paths for All has joined seven walking and cycling organisations calling for an end to new road building in Scotland and more space on our streets for people on foot and bikes.

Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Forth Environment Link, Living Streets, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans Scotland and Transform Scotland issued the call as part of a joint response to the National Transport Strategy.

As part of a six point response to the new National Transport Strategy, the organisations highlighted how a focus on walking and cycling, along with affordable and accessible public transport, is best placed to deliver Scotland’s transport priorities.

And they called for an end to government investment in the creation of new trunk roads, to help make sure that journeys on foot, bike and public transport were prioritised before cars in order to tackle inequality, reduce carbon emissions, and improve health and wellbeing across the country.

In addition, the organisations have asked to:

  • Take space from private vehicles to make more room for walking and segregated cycling
  • End new road building and prioritise active and sustainable travel
  • Deliver affordable and integrated public transport
  • The requirement for developers to include active travel infrastructure in initial plans for all new housing, commercial and retail development
  • Support for behaviour change programmes which encourage active and sustainable travel
  • Improve access to bikes.

Speaking about the statement Sustrans Deputy CEO John Lauder said: “The new National Transport Strategy takes some big strides forward. The way we travel plays a huge role in our lives, so we’re especially pleased to see the strategy highlight the role transport can play in health and wellbeing.

“We know that walking, cycling and public transport are best placed to deliver the aims of the new strategy, and these six priorities should be the focus to make it a success.

“This includes an end to expensive new road building schemes in order to tackle the climate emergency - this money can be better spent on sustainable, healthy alternatives.”

Ian Findlay CBE, Chief Officer of Paths for All, added:

I welcome the National Transport Strategy’s overall vision of ‘helping deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland’; and I believe that the high-level outcomes and policies have the potential to achieve this vision. 

"However, it’s essential that these are more than wise words in a well-crafted strategy.  Being truly faithful to the transport hierarchy will be transformational; but will require bold leadership and culture change at all levels in the way we think about, plan, deliver and invest in transportation in Scotland.”