Cycling can save taxpayers millions: Green MSP

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, has submitted a motion in Parliament to mark Bike Week, calling for a step-change in Scottish Government funding.

At today’s Bike Breakfast in Edinburgh organised by Lothian campaign group Spokes, Alison will warn that infrastructure change on the ground is failing to keep pace with the growing numbers of cyclists on the roads. She will also urge local and central government to work far better together to transform our streets.

Alison’s call comes as new figures show a 19% increase in use of the National Cycle Network in Scotland in 2011. A report by Sustrans released for National Bike Week shows that use of the network across the UK resulted in health benefits worth an estimated £442 million to the economy.

Tomorrow the group behind the massive Pedal on Parliament demonstration will present their petition of over 3600 signatures to the Minister for Transport and other MSPs at Holyrood.  And on the same day the first meeting of the Cross Party Group on Cycling – set up by Alison Johnstone – will take place to look at proposals to strengthen the Cycle Action Plan for Scotland.

Alison Johnstone said:

“There is much evidence of a cycling boom but this must be matched with more funding and faster improvements to our treets. Cycling is high on the agenda and there it must stay if we want to ake it cheaper, healthier and safer for people to get around.

“Cyclists are saving the taxpayer millions on health spending, road repairs and congestion, as well as cutting pollution and feeling fitter and happier. With all these benefits, why are theSNP still not spending even 1% of the transport budget on cycling?”