Council makes successful bid for active travel project funding

Midlothian Council has been successful in its applications for the Sustrans’ Places for Everyone fund to deliver three active travel projects.

Places for Everyone

The aim of Places for Everyone scheme is to create safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive places and to increase the number of trips made by walking, wheeling, and cycling for everyday journeys. Places for Everyone is funded by the Scottish Government through Transport Scotland and is administered by Sustrans.

Funding for three projects

The council has been funded £266,076 for three projects. Two of the projects will aim to develop a design for high quality active travel infrastructure with the intention to apply for later stage Places for Everyone funding to carry out detailed design and construction phases:

A7 Urbanisation Stages 0-2 (early concept stages to be completed in 2024) 

Stage 0 will commence in April 2023 and will look at the feasibility and potential design of active travel provision along the A7 between Gilmerton Road Roundabout and Dalhousie Road, Newtongrange. The council have been awarded £108,198 to present a range of deliverables set by Sustrans, including early concept design, technical and feasibility studies and community engagement activities.

Shawfair Connections Stages 0-2 (early concept stages to be completed in 2026) 

This project will commence in October 2023 and will consider priority routes for active travel infrastructure in the Shawfair area, with a particular focus on connections into the existing network and cross-boundary connections linking into active travel networks in other Local Authorities where possible. The council have been awarded £117,878 to present the same set of Stage 0-2 deliverables set by Sustrans.

Third project enabled by funding:

Designing & Aligning Midlothian’s Strategic Place with Active/Sustainable Travel (to be completed in 2023/24)

The council is working with the charity Living Streets to complete an assessment of active/sustainable travel provision within and around new developments. The project will assess how sustainable travel can be made easier and more appealing through best-practice design and greater provision of infrastructure within and between areas of new development, with a focus on the design of new housing areas and the provision of local services within new development.

The project will look at how we can reduce the need and distances required to travel, thus making active modes of travel more appealing. The outcome of this study will inform future policy principles and design standards for new developments and help ensure that the choice of new housing sites encourages people to walk, wheel, cycle, or use public transport as far as possible. The council have been awarded £40,000 from Sustrans for this project.

Funding welcomed

Cllr Douglas Bowen, cabinet member with responsibility for active travel said: "I welcome the funding from the Places for Everyone scheme. Midlothian Council is committed to promoting active travel. We owe it to future generations to focus on active travel by not only encouraging our residents to consider it but by also enabling the infrastructure to be in place to make it easier. This funding will help us significantly to work towards this." 

Accessible active travel

Connor Cross, Grant Manager for Sustrans, said:
“We’re excited to be working with Midlothian Council and the communities they represent to help deliver safe and accessible active travel routes in the area. The funding awarded for these three new projects will help to make convenient everyday walking, wheeling, and cycling journeys a reality.”

Active Travel Strategy  

Midlothian’s new Active Travel Strategy is being developed and is due to be published in the financial year 2023/24. There will be an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the draft plan when it is published.

More information

31 Jan 2023