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Cycling

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 29th March 2012.

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Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

As I have said, we have tried to incorporate what the member has suggested into most of our major projects, including not only the M8 and the M74 but the Forth replacement crossing; indeed, that is how we intend to use the existing Forth road bridge. We have told officials that we should make what we are doing clear to the public. The Airdrie to Bathgate line has been mentioned in that respect but, in other road projects, the public might not have been made as aware of that aspect as they might have been and I will be encouraging that to happen.

We also fund Sustrans, which, as has been mentioned, is rolling out with Fife Council 20mph zones in parts of Kirkcaldy and as part of its street design project is redesigning streets with the support of local communities. The same initiative is happening in Moray Council. There have been many references to the City of Edinburgh Council, whose road safety team launched its 20mph zone last Friday.

At this point, I should make it clear that councils themselves can introduce—and have introduced—such zones. Alison Johnstone’s motion asks the Government to make that process easier; however, I am not sure that the Labour amendment quite addresses the same issue, because the “guidance” that it refers to is issued by the Department for Transport and is based on United Kingdom primary legislation. We are talking about Scottish Government-issued traffic regulation orders and, although we will look at how we can streamline that system, members must bear in mind that public consultation forms a large part of that process and we do not want to minimise any of that.

We have said many times that we can best achieve this aim by working in partnership with others, including those involved in climate change, to push these particular policies. As the report on proposals and policies makes clear, this is not solely about Government funding; many other financial and non-financial contributions are needed from local authorities and—as John Lamont pointed out—business.