New funding to help spread the walking and cycling bug across Edinburgh

Events aimed at encouraging more and more people to walk and cycle are to be held in each of the four Edinburgh localities for the first time this year as part of a calendar of active travel events.

A group of parents and carers on a Buggy Walk

The locality-based events - which include festivals of walking and cycling in Moredun, Inverleith and Drumbrae/Corstorphine, as well as events to be confirmed in Portobello and south west Edinburgh -  have been made possible thanks to Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding for 2018/19, which has now been confirmed. 

The total funding Edinburgh has been awarded by Paths for All for the new financial year is £554,081.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: "It's excellent news that we've secured more than half a million pounds in funding to help us promote active travel in Edinburgh over the coming year. There's a great line-up of events planned right across the city and the funds will enable in-depth research towards three major projects aimed at making life better in the Capital (Low Emission Zones, Central Edinburgh Transformation and the new Local Transport Strategy)."

Stuart Douglas, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Manager at Paths for All: 

“The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme aims to make walking and cycling a mode of choice for short journeys in our towns, cities and villages. Over the past three years, City of Edinburgh Council have successfully delivered a number of initiatives to make Edinburgh a healthier and safer city including buggy walks, promoting Quietroutes and developing Workplace Travel Planning.

“Edinburgh often leads the way with its innovative practice to promote active travel and we look forward to continuing to work with them and the many other Scottish local authorities working towards making Scotland a healthier, happier place to live.”

As well financing the local events, these funds will be channelled into a variety of initiatives and events, including continued support for guided"buggy walks" for new parents, led cycle rides for novice cyclists and work to encourage compliance with Edinburgh's 20mph speed limits now that the 18-month citywide rollout is complete. 

SCSP funding will also be used to support workplaces with travel planning to encourage greater use of active and sustainable travel for everyday travel to work and for work purposes. 

Schools will be another focal point, with the Bikeability level 3 programme delivered, particularly in more deprived areas, and the funds will also be used to roll out Living Streets' Walk Once a Week programme to more schools from the Summer 2018 term.  

Meanwhile market research into three inter-related projects is being developed collectively using SCSP funding, aimed at understanding stakeholder and public views on how the projects should take shape. 

The three projects aim to improve the quality of life of those who live, work, and visit Edinburgh by helping to create safer and more attractive streets and spaces and improve air quality and access for all

They are: Edinburgh’s Local Transport Strategy, which is being reviewed to determine fit-for-purpose transport and mobility policies and actions for our city; the Central Edinburgh Transformation project which concerns the future development of central Edinburgh and its public realm; and the development of a Low Emission Zone as a proactive move towards protecting Edinburgh's citizens and visitors from the harmful effects of poor air quality. All three contribute towards the developing 2050 Edinburgh City Vision, by improving mobility and creating better places.

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