Bike cash boost for cycle-friendly employers

Pictured are, from left to right: Katharine Brough, Michael Matheson MSP (cabinet secretary), Catherine Topley and Keith Irving, with Scottish Canals staff at the Falkirk Wheel.
Pictured are, from left to right: Katharine Brough, Michael Matheson MSP (cabinet secretary), Catherine Topley and Keith Irving, with Scottish Canals staff at the Falkirk Wheel.

Cycling Scotland has awarded over £600,000 to Scottish employers - including NHS Forth Valley and Scottish Canals - from the Cycle Friendly Development Fund.

The payout was flagged up at a meeting at the Falkirk Wheel on Friday, where details of more than 60 workplaces across the country to receive cash were announced.

The Cycle Friendly Development Fund, delivered by Cycling Scotland with funding from Transport Scotland, will be used for projects that encourage staff and visitors to travel by bike.

These will include, for example, upgrading workplace amenities, such as changing areas, showers and drying facilities, buying bikes to support a bike pool or hire fleet, and setting up maintenance areas and buying cycling tools.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson (Falkirk West MSP) said: “It is welcome news that 41 employers across Scotland will benefit from the Cycle Friendly Development Fund.

“There are many environmental and health benefits that can be gained simply by choosing to cycle, and this funding will help reduce some of the local barriers that exist and encourage active travel.

“This support will progress our vision to develop an Active Nation, where more people choose to walk and cycle than ever before, by providing additional amenities to over 52,000 workers across Scotland”.

He added: “I’m proud that the Scottish Government is continuing to finance important behavioural change programmes.

“By doubling the active travel budget to £80m for 2018/2019 we hope to deliver many more innovative projects in partnership with Cycling Scotland and other active travel partners.”

Katharine Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland said: “Cycling has so many benefits and creates a healthier and happier workforce .

“We work closely with our partners to help employers and other organisations encourage and support cycling. This round of funding will benefit over 52,000 workers across Scotland.”

Catherine Topley, Interim CEO of Scottish Canals, said: “We are delighted to be one of the 41 employers benefiting from the Cycle Friendly Development Fund.

“Scotland’s canals are an important part of the nation’s walking and cycling network, providing safe sustainable travel routes, and it is important to us that promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging more people to our towpaths begins with our staff.

“We know that cycling to work, between meetings or at lunch time has positive mental and physical benefits and to ensure we help encourage our staff onto their bikes we plan to use this funding to improve the cycle parking across our canals and to establish pools of bikes for our employees to access.”