Active Freeways are a simple vision, on the face of it: to provide safe cycling within the towns and cities of Scotland with a network of high-quality protected cycle routes, linking the places people live and work by bicycle. It’s an ambitious ask, but what does it really mean – and importantly, when will it happen? Laura Laker finds out…
While much of Scotland is rural, around 70% live in towns and cities, with more than 70% of all journeys in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee – and 54% of all Scotland’s trips – less than three miles. However, cycling levels across Scotland are low – just 1% of journeys.
The pandemic saw rapid cycling increases of up to 80% in Scotland, with Clyde St in Glasgow seeing 199% growth, and Kingseat Rd, Dunfermline, 132%.
Active Freeways were a campaign ask for Sustrans Scotland at the 2021 elections, and an announcement is expected later in this Parliament. Claire Daly, head of policy and communications at Sustrans Scotland, said: “We are not currently aware of priority routes identified but we would anticipate that these would be identified by and delivered with local authorities.”
She adds: “We welcome and look forward to the detail on Active Freeways. We believe Scotland can hugely benefit from a high-quality active travel network connecting people to where they live, work, shop and socialise, as well as connecting neighbourhoods through radial and arterial routes. Those radial routes are particularly important, with different living and working patterns. We’ll be happy to […]