Active Travel

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 23 January 2019.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Claudia Beamish raises an important issue. I have on a number of occasions made the point that in promoting and encouraging active travel, we must reach out to hard-to-get-at communities, and to individuals who might not initially think that they will take up an active travel option.

In recent discussions, I challenged the stakeholders who are responsible for taking forward the promotion of active travel to demonstrate in greater detail how they are reaching out to our more deprived communities and ensuring that they are supported to consider active travel options. We are, for example, looking at how we can build the provisions that are necessary to support active travel into the infrastructure of social housing provision. That could include cycle and walking routes, work with housing associations, the creation of e-bike hubs and provision of electric vehicles through a car-club model. Those could be delivered through social housing. I have challenged stakeholders to develop all those in a more detailed way.

I am clear about the need to ensure that active travel is about not just people who are predisposed to being active, but is about reaching out to communities that are more deprived and difficult to get at in order to ensure that they, too, get the benefits of the investment.