A Challenge - EUR 44 per head for cycling?

With some amount of fanfare, the Scottish Government has published their Cycle Action Plan for Scotland 2013 which reviews and updates their 2010 plan.

They describe their target of 10% journeys by cycle as ambitious.  It is ambitious given the paucity of the plan.  But it's not ambitious by international standards. 

So what are the Scottish Government actually proposing?
One measure you can't escape from is cash.

Netherlands EUR 487m/ year - so EUR 30 per head of population each year

London is spending £104m/year - some EUR 21 per head of population each year.

The Peterhead Cycle Demostration project has a total budget of £185,000 - a one off-spend of EUR 13 per head over the three year life of the project.

So what is the Scottish Government proposing in their nice new shiny CyclingAction Plan?  Well it looks like there will be less than £47m over three years (part of the monies are for walking and safer streets) so that EUR 55m.  Sound greats - until you remember that between a population of 5.3m and over 3 years so that comes down to a miserly EUR 3.4 per head of population each year.

If the Government are serious about cycling, perhaps a good place to start would be allocating the 10% modal share aim in terms of the transport budget to cycling.    Transport Scotland has £2,000m a year.  So £200m a year for cycling from that budget.  Ok that's then  EUR 44 per head - but have a lot of catching up to do to get the type of infrastucture that people enjoy in the Netherlands and Denmark.

Winter cycling in Copenhagen


  1. (recently CTA qualified)
    The difference in Aberdeen (to Netherlands & inner London) is that they are flat. Wobbly cyclists going uphill, avoiding potholes, no lights, dark outfits need investment in separate routes. Not, for example, like route #1 thru Old Aberdeen the wrong way down a longtime one way street. Sorry to grumble but there are fewer roads hereabouts (cf WPR)

  2. Gears.
    I used to cycle in Edinburgh and my trusty bike was geared so I could cycle up The Mound in 3rd.
    I agree we need investment in proper space for cyclists - and that requies investment. Tiny amounts compared to major road schemes - but much more than the current token amounts that seem to erect a few signs, add a bit of white paint - and erect railings to make routes less direct.


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