Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Active Travel has announced a £2million cycling legacy fund to promote and enhance cycling infrastructure and services across Scotland’s Railway.
The significant Scottish Government investment comes ahead of the highly anticipated 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships to be held in Glasgow and across Scotland between 3 and 13 August.
As part of the 2023 UCI Legacy Cycling Investment Programme, ScotRail has unveiled a new, eye-catching green signage, which will be installed throughout its fleet of trains.
The vibrant exterior livery guides cyclists to designated areas of the train where they can safely board and secure their bicycles. Similar bright blue signage is also being implemented to highlight accessible carriages, ensuring inclusivity for all users.
To further improve the experience of cyclists planning their journeys, ScotRail's mobile app is set to undergo an upgrade which will enable users to conveniently reserve cycle spaces directly through the ScotRail app. This feature was previously limited to the ScotRail website.
Acknowledging the need for improved cycling facilities, the legacy fund will also see the creation of a Cycle Hub at both Inverness and Fort William stations. These modern hubs will provide cyclists with enhanced amenities, including secure bike storage, maintenance facilities, and useful information for exploring the local area.
In addition, the Cycle Hub at Glasgow Queen Street will undergo redevelopment work to increase the number of bike spaces available, accommodating the growing demand from cyclists using the station. The revamped hub will offer improved accessibility and convenience for individuals choosing to cycle as part of their journey.
In a collaborative effort to support Scotland's cycling community, ScotRail will forge a closer working relationship with Sustrans, a leading sustainable transport charity. This partnership will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise, ensuring a better understanding of cyclists' requirements and fostering continuous improvement in cycling infrastructure and services across Scotland’s Railway.
These ambitious investments and initiatives are set to be completed within the next year, with the cycling legacy fund poised to leave a lasting impact on the railway’s cycling landscape.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Active Travel, said:
“I’m pleased to announce our £2million active travel investment across Scotland’s Railways. This will make it easier for people taking the train to consider using the bike as part of a wider sustainable journey.
“This investment comes ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, where I’m determined that the Championships extends beyond elite sport and works to support a revolution in everyday cycling.
“The Scottish Government has committed to spend at least £320million, or 10 per cent of the total transport budget, on active travel by 2024-25. This will help us deliver more innovative projects like this and make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle for everyday trips – benefiting our health, wellbeing and environment.”
David Lister, ScotRail Safety, Engineering, and Sustainability Director, said:
“By enhancing cycling infrastructure and rail services, the 2023 UCI Legacy Cycling Investment Programme will create a lasting legacy that will benefit both residents and visitors alike.
“Whether people are cycling for work or for leisure purposes, this £2million investment will encourage even more people get out of cars and travel in a more sustainable way.
“It reflects our commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel options, and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our cycling community."
Trudy Lindblade, Chief Executive Officer, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, said:
"This investment will leave a lasting legacy of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.
"The new branding on ScotRail's trains will really help people when they're out travelling with their bikes, and we're really pleased that the Championships have been a catalyst for this."
Lee Craigie, Ambassador for Active Travel, said:
"The effort ScotRail is making to encourage cycling on the network is very welcome indeed and, in my opinion, surpass those of any other rail operator in the UK right now.
“The new livery and changes to booking bikes on trains does more than make travelling with your bike easier. It sends a clear, visual message to all rail users that ScotRail recognises the value of integrating cycling with train travel.
“This will have untold benefits to the active travel agenda in Scotland."