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16 November 2017

Scotland Leading the Way on Active Travel

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf today confirmed that Scotland is leading the way on Active Travel – with government spending set to be more than twice as high per head as in England and around three times more than in Wales.

The Scottish Government recently committed to doubling the Active Travel budget from £40 million to £80 million from 2018/19. Plans to appoint an Active Nation Commissioner and develop new long-distance cycling and walking routes, as well as connect the A9 to the National Cycle Network through 21 miles of new cycleways, were also announced.

The A Nation With Ambition strategy also included plans to encourage the use of electric bikes “to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from active travel.”

A recent study published by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management revealed that commuters who cycled to work were less stressed than their counterparts who arrived by car.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“With growing evidence of the health benefits of active travel, I am delighted that the Scottish Government is leading the way in its commitment to Active Travel, leading the way in the UK.

“I am confident that the Scottish Government’s support will help encourage more people to get on their bikes and ensure that our infrastructure caters to those that choose to walk, cycle or run, especially as cycle and walking tourism grows in popularity in Scotland.

“While it is not always practical to ditch the car, I for one will continue to promote active transport to travel shorter distances, not least to improve our health, tackle congestion and reduce our carbon footprint.”

15 November 2017

MSP Welcomes UK Supreme Court Ruling on Alcohol

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the UK Supreme Court ruling allowing Scotland to set a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland.

It comes after a challenge against the move by the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) was rejected.

The legislation was approved by the Scottish Parliament five years ago but has been tied up in challenges since then.

But the Supreme Court approved the legislation and said it did not breach European Union law.

It means there will be a 50p-per-unit minimum put in place in a bid to tackle the country’s relationship with alcohol.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I am delighted that after five years of wrangling, the Supreme Court has made the decision to allow this legislation to move forward.

“Improving Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is an important step and this is an important step towards that.

“I agree with the First Minister, this is indeed a bold and necessary move to improve public health.

“It is disappointing the SWA chose to campaign against this decision for so long but I am hopeful now that this judgement has been passed they will put their full support behind the measure.”

Stevenson Welcomes EU Erasmus+ Funding for Banff School

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a funding award for Banff Primary School which has played a part in Scotland receiving its largest ever allocation of EU Erasmus+ funding – up nearly €5million since last year.

New figures from the British Council Scotland and Ecorys, the agency delivering the European Union scheme, show that a total of €21million is being shared by 159 Scottish organisations working in a range of sectors such as schools, colleges and universities.

Banff Primary School was successful in applying for €10,825 for language development.

Stewart Stevenson is encouraging local organisations to engage with Erasmus+ and apply for funding. He said:

“I congratulate Banff Primary School and everyone involved in this successful funding bid. This is a significant sum which will help provide substantial assistance with the development of the pupils’ language skills.”

Director of the British Council Scotland Jackie Killeen said:

“Enabling people and organisations in communities all over Scotland to learn from and share with their international counterparts is at the very heart of what we do.

“These new figures for Erasmus+ demonstrate the huge appetite across Scotland’s education and youth training sectors for international exchange, collaboration and partnership.”
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