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EDITIONS
 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 07:20 GMT
Pedal power targets missed
Cyclists in Edinburgh
The government set out targets for cycle journeys
Scots have failed to get on their bikes despite government targets to increase the number of trips taken by cycle, BBC Scotland can reveal.

The government had pledged in 1996 to double the number of cycle trips taken in Scotland by the end of 2002.

But it has fallen short of its aim.

The Scottish Cycling Development Project (SCDP) said most people still consider cycling as a transport of last resort.

Gareth George
We are well at the bottom of the league with only 2% of trips

Gareth George, SCDP
Gareth George, of the SCDP, said: "We've not won the battle for hearts and minds as far as cycling is concerned and it's a great shame that numbers have not gone up.

"Cycling is still something that you do if you don't have a car, it's a transport of last resort, it always seems.

"This is certainly not true on the continent, where cycling trips in Germany, for instance, have reached 11% of trips.

"We are well at the bottom of the league with only 2% of trips."

However, the SCDP hopes attitudes can be changed, believing that as roads become more congested cycling is a more attractive alternative.

Dave du Feu, of Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign, said there have been successes in the push to get more people onto their bikes.

'Message is encouraging'

He said: "The facts are that in several local authorities which have made serious efforts to boost cycling, the national targets set by the government have been met.

"For example, in Edinburgh the target to double cycle use from 1996 to 2002 has been met, and in Glasgow it has been exceeded, albeit starting from a low base.

"That the target has not been met across Scotland as a whole reflects the fact that a good many other authorities have largely neglected cycle use as a means of transport."

He added: "Overall, the message on cycle targets is encouraging - the message is that where councils take cycling seriously as a mode of transport, and make this obvious through prominent cycle facilities, there are significantly increasing levels of cycle use."

Operators of leisure cycling facilities insist the sport is growing in popularity, helped last year by the World Cup Mountain Bike Competition in Lochaber.

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25 May 00 | Scotland
16 Apr 02 | UK
15 Jul 98 | Health
23 Jul 98 | Health
09 Apr 99 | Business
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