As outlined in the Programme for Government, the Scottish Government has committed to investing over £500 million in active travel across the next five years. More permanent projects, including smaller schemes, will be progressed through the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme – in line with the vision of a more sustainable transport system as outlined in the National Transport Strategy.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:
"It's been really encouraging to see the strength of ambition, demonstrated by local authorities, in their applications to the Sustrans Places for Everyone scheme. With the support received by local communities, these three large scale active travel projects will transform opportunities to walk, wheel and cycle across Ayr, Hawick and Broughty Ferry.
"Encouraging more sustainable active travel journeys is vital to our health, wellbeing and in our response to the climate emergency. Our recently published Climate Change Plan update puts active travel at the heart of our actions to secure our world leading net-zero ambitions. That's why we're investing over £500 over the next five years, in addition to a further £50 million to support new 'Active Freeways' to some of Scotland's major destinations.
Karen McGregor, Director of Sustrans Scotland said: "Despite the challenges of 2020, we have been presented with an impressive range of major projects this year. We're pleased to be contributing to securing Broughty Ferry and Hawick against the threats posed by flooding and contributing to the regeneration of Ayr, while at the same time helping all three places transform the way people get about by foot, by bike and by wheel."
Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said:
"We are thrilled to receive this funding from the Sustrans' Places for Everyone scheme, which will allow us to implement our ambitious accessibility programme, an important step towards a Net Zero Carbon South Ayrshire.
"The active town vision for Ayr includes the major investments of a new leisure centre close to the High Street, new public open space and an athletics centre of excellence. Our accessibility programme will play an important role in connecting these elements and promoting active travel."