Active Travel (Road Projects)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 1st February 2018.

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Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

5. To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that major road projects promote active travel. (S5O-01728)

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

In line with the Scottish Government’s vision to promote active travel in “A Long-Term Vision for Active Travel in Scotland 2030”, the “Cycling Action Plan for Scotland” and the trunk road cycling initiative, suitable provision for all road users, including cyclists, is a significant part of our major trunk road projects. Our plan for major trunk road projects affects communities across Scotland, of course, and they include a significant increase in active travel facilities. That is demonstrated by our programme for government commitment for 35km of new cycle track in the A9 dualling programme to connect the A9 with the wider cycle network.

Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

The trunk road

cycling initiative, which the minister mentioned, was introduced in 1996 by Lord James Douglas-Hamilton. It was a great innovation, but it has not been updated since then. In 2015, Spokes wrote to the Scottish Government to suggest an update, which the Scottish Government agreed to. It said that the TRCI would be included in CAPS 3 by the end of 2016. That never happened.

We have projects such as the Maybole bypass in Ayrshire being designed without cycle paths. Can the minister say when the TRCI will be updated? Can he ensure that all new trunk roads include cycle use?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I am very active in the discussions on the A77 Maybole bypass. I met the Maybole bypass committee and it raised those concerns too, so we will of course reflect on them.

In relation to our major trunk road projects, we saw 16km of new and improved pedestrian and cycle routes in the M8, M73 and M74 improvement project; I have mentioned the 35km of new cycle track on the A9; and we have a proposed 17km scheme for active travel as part of the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan project. I could go on and on.

Of course I will look at the specific issue that the member mentions, but clearly this Government, when it comes to active travel, is putting its money where its mouth is. I give a gentle reminder to the member that the doubling of the active travel budget is something that he and his party voted against yesterday.

Photo of Christine Grahame Christine Grahame Scottish National Party

Does the minister recall that in May last year, I asked whether the proposed improvements to the Edinburgh city bypass Sheriffhall roundabout—known to cyclists as the meat grinder—would make provision for cyclists? I was told that that would be developed in consultation with local interest groups. Who was consulted and what was the outcome?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I had a good meeting and a good conversation with the member about some of the concerns that she and organisations such as Spokes raised. On the back of that conversation and some of those concerns, we are revisiting the matter and having a conversation with stakeholders on our provision for non-motorised users of Sheriffhall, including cyclists, which is currently being developed in further detail. As we progress the detailed design of the scheme in consultation with local interest groups, I will of course keep the member up to date.