The Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee is “holding an inquiry into Active Travel – walking and cycling”.
Yesterday the Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2010-11 from John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (in private).
According to Spokes (via Twitter) Des McNulty MSP asked Mr. Swinney about the Spokes Budget submission and “JS said will look at any proposals by the cttee”.
The 10 page proposal from Spokes was also considered by the Committee (again in private) – along with other written submissions (TCICC agenda and written evidence).
The Spokes document is, as usual, a comprehensive and thorough argument for (modest) increased spending on cycling in Scotland. It points out many policies, targets and “warm words” that still have to be backed with action – and cash.
The Spokes proposals (if adopted) would mean that spending on cycle projects would roughly double but still only be around 2% of current Scottish spending on Transport. The Scottish Government has indicated that it would like to see 10% of journeys being by bike by 2020. Edinburgh is aiming for 15%.
It is expected that the Committee will question Mr. Swinney further on his Government’s intentions on “Active Travel” and ask him to include some (or all) of the Spokes suggestions in the forthcoming Budget – or justify his refusal for the second year running.
The Committee (convened by Green MSP Patrick Harvie) is calling “for views on walking and cycling in Scotland“. It wants answers to six straightforward questions. “Respondents are invited to structure their responses around the issues identifed by the Committee. You are free to answer as many or as few of the questions as you wish.”
Closing date for submissions – Friday 11 December 2009.