A north-east group set up to promote active travel has written to every councillor in the region urging them to support initiatives to promote walking and cycling.
A £10 million fund has been created by Scottish Government ministers, aimed at creating temporary active travel measures to allow people to exercise safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
But Grampian Cycle Partnership, which works with a number of organisations across the north-east to encourage cycling, hopes the move can bring about lasting change long after lockdown measures have been lifted.
The body’s chairman Tom Collier said: “At Grampian Cycle Partnership, we wish to be part of the solution and have a positive impact on the quality of life of all people who live in Grampian.
“We have committed partners who want to help in the delivery of these initiatives and I would encourage anybody who wishes to be involved to sign up as a partner, get involved on social media, and send us examples of where you would want segregated space for social distancing in your part of Grampian.”
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The group has called for the creation of a number of measures, including 20mph zones in towns, banning parking in cycle lanes and the promotion of active travel for essential journeys.
The Scottish Government’s transport chief Michael Matheson announced the funding earlier this week.
He said: “For our air quality, climate, health and particularly for our mental wellbeing at this time, walking and cycling remain our most beneficial forms of transport.
“We should all be encouraged by the increases we are seeing in cycling and this government will do what it can to continue to support this through our recovery and beyond.”
The measures have been welcomed by campaigners, including Friends of the Earth Scotland.
The organisation’s air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said: “We support the cabinet secretary’s ambition that we should build upon the recent increases in cycling and walking. Hopefully these measures can help achieve that.”