A social enterprise in Wishaw and a Shotts health initiative are amongst those to have benefitted from £2m in funding aimed at getting more people on their bikes.
It’s part of £77,535 that wheeled its way to organizations and schools in North Lanarkshire.
Socialtrack, who are based at Wishawhill Wood Pump Track and provide young people the opportunity to cycle and skateboard, were awarded £17,437, while Getting Better Together (GBT) in Shotts received £11,959.
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Over £2m has been allocated from the Scottish Government’s active travel budget to employers, health and social care providers, social housing residences, community groups, schools and campuses to make it easier and more accessible for more people to cycle. It has the potential to benefit more than 221,000 people and over 5,000 households.
Delivered through Cycling Scotland’s behavior change programme, a total of 194 organizations are benefiting from the funding, which will be used to install cycle parking, changing facilities, maintenance equipment, bikes and training.
Over £1m has been allocated to organizations to install cycle parking and storage, making it easier for people to safely secure bikes at work, home, colleges and within the community – tackling a major barrier preventing more people from cycling.
Dan Scott at Socialtrack told Lanarkshire Live: “It’s helped us to work with young people in the community, by providing bikes and equipment for our 360° Club, as well as storage for them. We’re also working with five schools in North Lanarkshire up until the summer holidays, and providing advanced bike skills sessions.”
The other community organizations in North Lanarkshire to benefit recently are, Northern Corridor Community Volunteers – £7,153; Glenboig Development Trust – £7,416; The Richmond Fellowship (Scotland) – £15,712; and as an employer Scotcast Enterprises Ltd which incorporates M8 Cycles were awarded £7455.
An additional £227,000 was also awarded to 34 schools, three of them in North Lanarkshire, as part of the Free Access to Secondary Schools pilot, which will provide bikes, helmets, locks and maintenance equipment to pupils.
Dalziel High in Motherwell and Clyde Valley High in Wishaw were awarded £3,140 and £3,330 respectively, and Chryston High received an award of £3,933.
The Scottish Government has committed to invest at least £320m or 10 per cent of its transport budget in active travel by the end of 2024/25 as they bid to make walking, wheeling and cycling natural choices for shorter everyday journeys.
Scottish Greens MSP Patrick Harvie, Minister for Active Travel, said: “Of course, funding safer cycleways, junctions and links is vital and we’re doing so at record levels – but so too is having the basics like the ability to park your bike at your destination, to get changed if required or having the equipment nearby to make a basic repair.
“For a healthier, inclusive and more sustainable Scotland, I want to see many more high impact initiatives like this in the years to come.”
Kath Brough, head of behavior change at Cycling Scotland, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, choosing to travel by bike has a huge role to play in supporting our local economies, relieving pressure on vital networks, supporting our mental wellbeing and facilitating new ways of hybrid working.
“Interventions as simple as locks and a bike pump, right up to large-scale storage facilities or a fleet of bikes, all make it easier and more accessible for people to travel in an environmentally friendly and affordable way.”
The next round of funding opens on March 28, you can register your interest here.
Learn more about Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly program online.
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