A NEW cycling framework aiming to make walking, wheeling and cycling people’s most popular choice for short journeys by 2030 has been unveiled by the Scottish Government. 

The Cycling Framework for Active Travel will see Scotland’s active travel budget rise to £320 million in a bid to help build more, safe cycling infrastructure. 

It will also aim to help support people through training and ensure fair access to bikes for everybody across the country. 

Active travel minister Patrick Harvie said: “To make a difference on the ground, change must be delivered locally.”

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The new framework has been developed by the Scottish Government together with local councils, Cycling Scotland and the charity Sustrans, which aims to make it easier for people to choose walking or cycling. 

Key aims outlined in the legislation include working with local authorities to ensure cycling infrastructure is protected from traffic and integrated with public transport

It also aims to make it safer to walk, cycle and wheel across Scotland’s trunk road network.

The Scottish Greens transport spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “This is a hugely welcome plan and a bold and radical step to making Scotland a cycling nation. I am delighted that a Green minister is leading on this investment and on this vision. 

“Our communities need to be safe for everyone. Yet far too many people are scared when using our roads, and that’s because too much of our country has been designed for cars rather than pedestrians or bikes. 

“Cycling is good for our health, communities and environment, it frees up congestion and connects us cheaply and efficiently. 

“With the right infrastructure and support, we can become a cycling nation with room for all ages to safely enjoy cycling for work or leisure.”

The framework also highlights the importance of training to ensure people learn how to cycle from an early age into adulthood. 

The move has been welcomed by those from within the cycling industry. Keith Irving, chief executive of Cycling Scotland said: “A framework, delivery plan and long-term budget is vital to keep increasing the number of people cycling. 

“With cross-party support for increasing the active travel budget and more people getting on their bikes, cycling is playing a key role in tackling the public health and climate change crises we face. Every journey cycled makes a difference. 

“Improving access to bikes, storage and cycle training are essential to help deliver a just transition to net zero.”