Scotland politics

Plan for 20mph zones for cyclists in residential areas

Image caption The plan was welcomed by the Greens who called for greater infrastructure investment

All residential areas should have 20mph zones to make them safer for cyclists, according to plans from the Scottish government.

The measure is among 19 new commitments in the updated Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (Caps).

Other proposals include an annual national "summit" involving government ministers.

Calls to force motorists to prove they were not at fault in accidents with cyclists were dismissed.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "We are committed to the vision outlined in the updated Caps document for 10% of journeys to be by bike by 2020 and continue to invest in the infrastructure required to increase participation in cycling for everyday travel.

"Most cycling trips are local trips and we encourage local authorities to invest more in local facilities."

Bike schemes

He also announced funds for a series of local bike schemes. A "cycle safely" project in Edinburgh will get £45,000 and an Aberdeen bike ride event will get £34,000.

Campaigners asked for the UK to follow countries such as Australia and Denmark by introducing a "strict liability law", but the report stated the benefits were not proven.

It added: "The available data does not supply robust evidence of a direct causal link between strict liability legislation to levels of cycling and KSIs (killed and seriously injured statistics), when countries like the UK and Ireland are clearly reducing fatalities in cyclists and all other road users without strict liability legislation in place."

Investment call

Green MSP Alison Johnstone broadly welcomed the report but said it was not backed by adequate funds.

She said: "Investing in better infrastructure isn't cheap but will save our health service a huge amount, and we should draw far more on the large health budget and look at raising more income too.

"We need creative thinking from the Scottish government to build a once-in-a-generation fund to bring our streets up to European standards."

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