Free cash for cycling in Glasgow

There’s £88m left of this year’s Barnet Consequentials cash. Now is a great time to write to your MSP and suggest some of it goes on cycling infrastructure.

The Scottish Government is currently pondering what to do with the £213m windfall they’ve received from the Barnet Consequentials (the bit of the UK budget that decides how much cash each component country gets to play with).

Our finance secretary John Swinney has already allocated £125m to the NHS, leaving a healthy £88m to go to a deserving cause. There was a heavy cut planned for next year’s cycling funds compared to this year, so now is a great time to write to your MSP suggesting some of the money heads towards active transport.

After all, we’ve got our new City Centre Transport Strategy to fund in Glasgow. Surely no MSP would argue against trying to get some free cash for that?

If you’re after some inspiration for that email, Spokes (the very active Lothian cycling campaign group) have a handy summary of useful points here. CityCylingEdinburgh has links to a few emails that have been sent already (thread here) and, if you’re really desperate, my words are below.

I sent this to my regional Green MSP Patrick Harvie on on the 11 December and to my local MSP James Dornan on the 14 December:

Please could you ask John Swinney to allocate some of the remaining £88m of the Barnet consequentials to active transport?

John has currently planned a drop in cycling spending for next year, despite bold targets set by the government to make 10% of all journeys in Scotland pedal-powered by 2020. We all understand the pressure for funds, but without investment in good infrastructure only a tiny minority of people would consider regularly picking up the bike. Without change, we’ll fail.

Glasgow is a brilliant example of what happens when we focus too much and for too long on the motor car: crippling congestion; the worst air pollution levels in Europe; soaring levels of obesity and asthma; and masses of potholes in roads relentlessly ripped up by traffic.

We’ve started to realise this. Our City Centre Transport Strategy is a breath of fresh air to those of us campaigning for better conditions for those on foot and bike, but the lack of funds to implement the regeneration is a major concern.

John has a sack of free cash. Please ask for some of it, so that in four years’ time my son will be able get to his first day at Mount Florida Primary on his bike and not stuck in a car.

Thank you


PS: if you need more information on any of the above I’d be delighted to drop in to your surgery and talk bike; just let me know!

I’ll let you know if I get a reply…

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