New Tactran Chair looks forward to exciting travel future

New Tactran Chair looks forward to exciting travel future

New Tactran Chair looks forward to exciting travel future

This month we are pleased to introduce our new Chairperson, Councillor Richard McCready. Councillor McCready has joined Tactran to help us take forward our exciting new plans and we thought this would be an ideal opportunity to reflect on Tactran’s recent achievements and look ahead to developments in 2020.

This short video gives an overview of these highlights. For more detail as well as useful information and links, read our blog below. To stay up to date with our latest developments, follow us on Twitter and visit our News blog.

Meet our new chairperson

In June 2019 Councillor Richard McCready [pictured, on left] became the new Chair of the Tactran Board. Richard is a councillor for Dundee West End and is passionate about the environment and developing sustainable transport options.

Richard explains why he’s so enthusiastic about the role and about our upcoming projects and developments.

“I’m interested in transport and the environment, and I want to do what I can to improve connectivity across Tayside and Central Scotland. I also want to help to improve the environment and Tactran has a role to play in both of those things.”

“As the Chair I want to improve the connectivity of the Tactran region, covering Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. It’s important that we make transport connections as easy as possible, that we promote public transport, active travel – walking and cycling – and improve the environment for everyone.”


Delivering Sustainable transport initiatives

Tom Flanagan, Partnership Director at Tactran, is pleased to welcome Richard on board. “Richard has a real vision for making Tactran one of the most progressive, dynamic, influential transport bodies in the country. Over the last year we were extremely successful in drawing in external funding to the tune of £500,000 and that’s helped us to deliver our priorities as part of the Regional Transport Strategy. Richard’s leadership will be key to supporting that and getting involved in some of the big initiatives, particularly the Tay Cities Deal: Richard’s on the Tay Cities Deal Joint Committee.”

“We’re involved in the Stirling / Clackmannanshire City Deal, too. There are a lot of exciting projects coming through, such as Park & Ride for Rail, real initiatives around active travel, and also our work with the two NHS Trusts – NHS Tayside and NHS Forth Valley. We’re very keen to be able to offer both staff and patients to NHS campuses real sustainable transport choices which they can use to access services.”

Tactran funding gives choice to workplaces and communities

Graeme Brown, Strategy Officer for Sustainable and Active Travel at Tactran, agrees that in 2018/19, Tactran has helped many regional stakeholders and partners take forward various activities around sustainable and active travel. “We’re particularly pleased to be working with the national charities such as Sustrans and Cycling Scotland, accessing different funding to take forward these initiatives. We’ll continue to do that over the coming years.

“Tactran offers two main pots of funding around sustainable and active travel. One is the Active Travel Grant and the other is the Regional Active Travel Development Fund. These funds are there to enable communities, workplaces, large employment sites and members of the community to make more sustainable and active travel journeys as part of their everyday life.”

What is Tactran’s Active Travel Grant?

Active Travel is an important element of our Regional Transport Strategy Delivery Plan. The Active Travel Grant provides capital funding to create infrastructure (e.g. paths and other safe routes) that enables more people to cycle and walk for everyday utility journeys throughout the region.

If you’d like to apply for the Active Travel Grant, your application should address the aims and objectives of the Tactran Road Transport Strategy 2015-2036 Refresh, with particular focus on strategy 5.3 – Active Travel. This strategy has four key strands:

  1. Strategic Integration
  2. High-Quality Infrastructure
  3. Making Better Use of the Transport System
  4. Influencing Travel Behaviour.

If you have a project that you think would be suitable for the 2019/20 Active Travel Grant please contact Tactran on 01738 475773. We will be happy to advise you and, where possible, help you to get an application off the ground.

Find out more about Tactran’s Active Travel Grant 

Regional Active Travel Development Fund

Tactran’s Regional Active Travel Development Fund aims to enable and promote active travel as a realistic choice of travel to and within our settlements. Our main focus is on taking forward the Regional Cycling and Walking Network, as described in our Regional Transport Strategy, and developing our Active Travel Audits to the design stage. 

Through our delivery of the Regional Walking and Cycling network we will support the National Walking and Cycling Network (NWCN). You can view the National Walking and Cycling Network – Scotland map of existing paths, trails and canals and proposed routes.

Healthier travel choices for NHS Tayside 

Graeme Brown adds that Tactran has been particularly pleased to be working with NHS Tayside over the past year, taking forward their Transforming Tayside programme, particularly the active and sustainable travel elements. “This is about making the site more accessible for people trying to get to the hospital site by more sustainable means. We’ve been helping access travel funding to improve cycle parking and the infrastructure around the campus.”

Supporting cycling programmes for all

Our work enabling access to cycling at Ninewells is part of our wide-ranging programme of cycling support throughout the Tactran region. Marianne Scott, Regional Cycle Training and Development Officer for Cycling Scotland & Tactran, works on a wide range of initiatives to encourage people of all ages to enjoy and engage with cycling, from the very youngest nursery children to older people with health issues.

“Cycling Scotland funds a wealth of cycling projects across the region,” explains Marianne, “including: 

“We started the Adult Cycling Project at the Institute of Sport and Exercise at Dundee University,” says Marianne. “We got the Adult Cycling group members out in the community cycling and it’s given them a great sense of freedom. Our schools projects include Bikeability, Play on Pedals and the Cycling Friendly Secondary Schools and Primary Schools Award and Cycling Friendly Secondary Schools Development Grant Funding.”

Find out more about the successful projects Marianne supports in schools in our Cycling Blog from October 2019 – The Two-Wheeled Revolution in the Tactran Region.

Stay ahead with news from the Tactran region

In 2020, Tactran will continue to progress innovative travel projects, both large and small, and support active and sustainable options for business, public sector and individuals.

If you’d like to find out more about any aspects of our work, or would like to discuss an active or sustainable travel project you think we could support, please contact us on [email protected] or 01738 475775. You can also follow us on Twitter for all of our latest news.

Links and Contacts 

Here are links to organisations mentioned in this month’s blog:

Next Month

In January we’ll be talking about travel planning, featuring Travelknowhow, the unique online resource which offers organisations and employees across Scotland easy access to a wide variety of travel planning solutions. Visit the Tactran blog and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

About Tactran

Tactran is one of seven statutory Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) covering Scotland. The Tactran region forms an important hub at the heart of Scotland's transport network and includes the local authority areas of Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. Together these make up just under 10% of Scotland’s land mass and nearly 12% of the nation’s population.

Our primary purpose is to develop a Regional Transport Strategy setting out a vision for the medium- to long-term future of transport in the area and to oversee its implementation.

Contact us with your queries, suggestions and comments

View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Supporting community projects throughout the Tactran region

Supporting community projects throughout the Tactran region

Supporting Community projects

throughout the Tactran region
As well as our work on large-scale infrastructure and local authority projects, at Tactran we also work with a wide range of community groups and charities. We can signpost funding opportunities, advise on getting projects off the ground and help gain essential funding. This month we share news of some exciting community projects where Tactran has played a key role.

To stay up to date with our latest developments, follow us on Twitter and visit our News blog.

Bringing Pitnappie Cutting back on track

 A group of dedicated volunteers in Angus is aiming to turn a disused railway cutting into a safe active-travel route, with support from Tactran and other organisations.


The Sidlaw Path Network is a volunteer group dedicated to upgrading, signposting and promoting local paths in the Sidlaw area of Angus. Secretary Gill Zealand explains about the project. “The Pitnappie Cutting is part of the old Dundee-Newtyle railway and it’s been disused for the last 50 years. It runs through the Glack of Newtyle, which is a narrow, twisty road that leads north of Muirhead to Newtyle. The road is steep, dark and overshadowed by trees so it’s not an easy place to be cycling, walking or horse-riding. 

“Part of the old railway towards Dundee had already been upgraded by Angus Council and turned into a nice path, and that’s one of the routes that we promote on our Sidlaw Path Network map leaflet. About 2012, our group started looking at renovating this section, in conjunction with the Newtyle Path Network which has upgraded a lot of the line at the Newtyle end. The renovation was a huge challenge. The route is about a mile long. One end is partly embankment and was overgrown with saplings while the Cutting itself was full of fallen trees and deep mud.

“This section of railway belonged to the Kinpurnie Estate; it’s since been sold off in lots and the Cutting end belongs to a different landowner. We are currently hoping, with support from Angus Council’s Access Officer, to persuade him to put stiles in and allow access and to let us complete the job. Meanwhile we’re trying to get the northern half made into a self-contained loop.”

How has Tactran supported this project?

“Tactran awarded us £1700 for a feasibility study and £7500 for an engineer’s report; we are very indebted to them. We also received funding from Angus Environmental Trust and the Forestry Commission (now Forestry and Land Scotland). We got a team to take away the fallen timber and get the drainage working again. After a few years and a lot of work, we had a perfectly walkable, if unfinished, route thanks to Tactran’s funding.

“Having a safe off-road route through the Sidlaws aligns with Tactran’s aims, and the team there is very supportive in terms of keeping the project running. We had representatives from Tactran and Sustrans walking along the track with us in the early stages and they were both impressed.

“We are very grateful for Tactran’s support and we hope the project will get back up and running soon. We have put a lot of work into it as it’s an ideal route to keep people off the dangerous road.”

Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust

Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) is an independent charity whose main aim is to improve and promote access to the countryside for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. PKCT negotiates access to land, builds footpaths, helps care for Scotland’s most spectacular woodlands and trees and works on conservation projects. The Cateran Trail, featuring 64 miles of beautiful scenery and picturesque villages, is managed by PKCT and was recently featured in The Guardian’s 10 best long-distance walks with overnight stays in Britain. PKCT is part-funded by Perth & Kinross Council and the Gannochy Trust, with regular funding support from Tactran, and delivers around £1-2 million-worth of projects each year.

Provost Walk, Auchterarder

Peter Quinn, PKCT’s Trust Director, says that Tactran’s assistance enabled them to begin the work on the first phase of Provost Walk. The popular route in Auchterarder has undergone a radical transformation from a muddy walkway to a modern, multi-user path suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users.

“The third and final phase of the path opened in July,” says Peter, “and the total cost for all phases was £930,000. Tactran was one of several initial funders, awarding us £10,000 of the £19,000 required for the Phase 1 design.”


Railway Path, Auchterarder to Muthil

PKCT was instructed by Auchterarder Community Sports and Recreation group (ACSR) to carry out a feasibility study into a potential upgrade of the dismantled railway line path between Muthill and Auchterarder. Works began in 2018 to secure funding towards the study and to investigate possible contractors for the various surveys, consultations and design work. PKCT was successful in attracting funding from Tactran and start-up commenced late 2018, completing in September 2019.

“What we have finally achieved is an outline design, suitable to take to a development stage on behalf of the ACSR,” says Peter. “Any future progression on these results will be driven by ACSR. Again Tactran was instrumental in getting the project started, providing funding of over £50,000 for a feasibility study and the design phase. We appreciate that Tactran can’t fully fund every project but their support is very local and accessible, and they’re a great source of funding advice,” Peter adds.

Cycling and walking infrastructure from Bridge of Earn to Newburgh

There has long been a call for a safer walking and cycling route between these two communities. The Baiglie Straight (A912) connecting Bridge of Earn to Aberargie is especially hazardous due to the speed of traffic. PKCT is aiming to provide a dedicated safe walking and cycling route to enable safer everyday commutable journeys.

“We have submitted an application to Sustrans for the design phase,” says Peter, “and if successful we will be looking to Tactran to help us gain funding for the construction phase, as the whole project will cost around £2.5 million. Tactran is very helpful in putting us in the direction of other potential funders such as Tay Cities. It’s a very significant project as it will essentially link Perth to the Fife Coastal Path which stops at Newburgh.” That in turn will form part of a larger flagship PKCT project, the River Tay Way.


Blackford Paths Group / Blackford Community Council

Blackford Paths Group was set up in 2017 to take forward the findings of a feasibility study about developing a new accessible path in the area. Janet Law, Secretary of Blackford Community Council, says that, without Tactran’s support, getting funding for the study wouldn’t have been possible.

Janet, who was Chair at the time of the funding application, says, “We’re a very active village with many small community groups. However, because of our proximity to the A9, a major railway line and some large tranches of private land, it can be difficult to get out and about in the countryside, or actively travel to nearby communities. We need safe path access, including to our nearest big town, Auchterarder, and our nearest station at Gleneagles.

“I had received an email from Perth & Kinross Council about Tactran funding for paths. I contacted Tactran and we discussed commissioning a feasibility study. We had to raise match-funding within a short deadline and the team at Tactran gave me a lot of support to complete the match-funding applications. If not for their help, we wouldn’t have made the deadline. Tactran also put me in touch with a community in Stanley who had been awarded similar funding. 

“The study would be a real opportunity for the community to maintain existing paths and develop a new one. The Community Council completed the main funding applications, again with Tactran’s help as well as great support from Perth & Kinross Council’s Greenspace Co-ordinator, Dave Stubbs. We were awarded £20,000. We commissioned the study, which was carried out to a very high standard by Crispin Hayes Associates.

“The feasibility study gives evidence to allow us to go to other funders. It demonstrates a need for utility travel routes. That means real people going to work, school, appointments and meetings in our nearest towns or via the station. These routes meet other goals, too, such as improving people’s physical fitness and reducing our carbon footprint.”


What’s next for Blackford?

“As we’re a small group, we persuaded a number of busy local activists to set up the Blackford Paths Group. They registered as a charity, so they could receive the funding. Crispin has recommended a particular path and has liaised with the landowner to make it even more suitable.

Blackford Paths Group is now working, with fantastic support from Perth & Kinross Council, on developing a safe route from Blackford to Auchterarder. Tactran’s role was crucial in this project; without them it couldn’t have happened.”

ReDiscover Dundee – by bike or trike

ReDiscover Dundee is a local cycling project which enables people who have barriers to physical activity to enjoy cycling on eBikes or eTrikes. The initiative has a focus on the ageing population facing inactivity and isolation, inviting them to join in guided rides as a way to stay active and rediscover the local greenspaces.


Dr Viola Marx, Green Health Partnership Coordinator in Dundee, describes the project and how Tactran has supported it. “Graeme Brown from Tactran highlighted the funding opportunity to us. We got some electric tricycles through the Energy Savings Trust with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (formerly Volunteer Dundee) as the lead organisation. We now have eight eTrikes, two electric bikes and one trailer. We hope to extend the fleet with the next bid and we’ll get different sizes to cater for all.

“Through ReDiscover Dundee we’re targeting people with mobility issues and those who aren’t confident on bikes or who haven’t cycled before. We’re supporting inactive citizens to become active. The fact they’re electric is great, particularly as Dundee has a lot of hills. We have volunteer-led sessions every Sunday and hold outreach sessions during the week to engage with a range of community groups and local support services whose clients have expressed an interest in the activity, including Dundee City Council departments and NHS Tayside. Since the launch in December 2018 we’ve had 80 individual participants attending our weekly sessions, and there’s a waiting list already! We’re hoping to expand the coverage soon, with a second base in the west of the city.

“It’s accessible and fun to try – anyone who’s interested can book one of our bikes or trikes through Dial-OP Information Line (see number below). Participants can also sign up to ReDiscover Dundee through a Green Health Prescription, which involves GPs prescribing healthy pursuits and time in green spaces as an alternative or complement to medical treatment. People can borrow them as community bikes, too.”

How did Tactran help?

“Graeme Brown gave us a lot of advice on how to engage with different groups and how to create a suitable project for and with our communities, and how to set up a cycling-based community project, as we hadn’t done one before,” says Dr Marx. “Tactran also helped us with putting together a funding bid, and we have received in-kind contributions from Volunteer Dundee, Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside, DVA and more. Marianne Scott [Regional Cycle Training & Development Officer at Cycling Scotland and Tactran] has also been very supportive. Now that we’re thinking of the second application for the project, she’s helping us overcome barriers, such as potential size differences of bikes, or grips, and different pedals for client groups with different needs. Graeme and Marianne have always been there with great support and guidance.”

What are the benefits?

“ReDiscover Dundee helps people get out and about and connect with the greenspaces through physical activity. The Green Health Prescription, which we’re piloting in three surgeries in Dundee and other NHS services, means that GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can refer people for outdoor physical activity. We have many people with chronic pain, arthritis, COPD, or people who struggle with weight and are unable to walk for longer stretches. Even people who use zimmer frames can easily ride a trike. It’s gentle exercise for their legs, they’re sitting upright (which is more comfortable than on a regular bike) and it’s a social thing which is very important, especially for older people. It takes them back to their youth, in a way!

“Other people using our eTrikes may currently use a ‘normal’ bike and are still quite active, but notice that they’re getting older so they might want to transition soon to a trike, so they can keep cycling in the future.”

ReDiscover Dundee is managed by Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, with the support of the Dundee Green Health Partnership and funding from Energy Saving Trust. For more information, contact Dial-OP Information Line on 01382 305757 or email [email protected].

Bikes for medical staff in Dundee

Two new bikes have been made available for all staff at a medical hub in Dundee, thanks to a new and exciting initiative. Whitfield GP Surgery hopes that the new bikes will help staff stay healthy and inspire patients to engage in cycling. To buy the bikes, the health centre worked with Tactran on a successful funding bid from Cycling Scotland’s Cycling Friendly Employer Development Fund (CFEDF) 2019/20.

Dr Viola Marx, Green Health Partnership Coordinator in Dundee, says, “We’re now awaiting the bikes and the storage solution for them. When they’re in place, the staff, including the GPs, will be able to use them for commuting to work, and from work to other locations. Some of the staff are also on rotation working in different surgeries on different days, so they will be able to cycle between workplaces.” Through the CFEDF, Whitfield surgery at the Crescent Community Centre received two bikes, bike storage for use by patients, staff and visitors, and maintenance equipment.


How did Tactran support this project?

“Graeme Brown, Sustainable Transport Strategy Officer at Tactran, has always been there to support us and answer all our cycling- and funding-related questions. Whenever there is a stumbling point Graeme helps us overcome our barriers. Marianne Scott [Regional Cycle Training & Development Officer at Cycling Scotland and Tactran] highlighted the Cycling Friendly Employer funding to us in the first instance. As the GPs have previously expressed an interest to use eBikes, this was the perfect opportunity. We met and discussed what we could do with it, whether it’s a good idea and how to go about it. She always has good ideas and lots of useful project experience.”


What are the benefits of this project?

“The first benefit is that we’re supporting NHS staff to be more active,” says Dr Marx. “Although all of the surgery staff are on their feet a lot, it’s not the same as exercise. Cycling for work is a chance to use the time that they would spend in a car to be active. It increases their physical activity levels and helps to reduce stress levels. 

“Secondly, the medical staff have the chance to be role models for the community. Seeing that the NHS Tayside team is not just telling you to do something but actually doing it, too, can be powerful. It’s a new and different approach. As the Whitfield GPs are part of the Green Health Prescription programme, too, they can encourage some of their patients to become more active, and luckily ReDiscover Dundee is based not far away from the surgery. The prescription acts as a signposting or a referral to all the activities. It all ties together nicely.”


Links and Contacts

Here are some links to organisations mentioned in this month’s blog:


Next Month

In December we’ll be introducing the new Chair of Tactran’s board and bringing you exciting news of developments at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital, which is expanding access to active travel, improving its infrastructure and pathways and easing parking issues. Visit the Tactran blog to find out more, and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.



– Blackford Images – © Blackford Community Council

– PKCT Provost Walk – ©PKCT, Mike Bell, Photos by Zoe

– Pitnappie Cutting – © David Martin

– ReDiscover Dundee

About Tactran

Tactran is one of seven statutory Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) covering Scotland. The Tactran region forms an important hub at the heart of Scotland's transport network and includes the local authority areas of Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. Together these make up just under 10% of Scotland’s land mass and nearly 12% of the nation’s population.

Our primary purpose is to develop a Regional Transport Strategy setting out a vision for the medium- to long-term future of transport in the area and to oversee its implementation.

Contact us with your queries, suggestions and comments

View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

The two-wheeled revolution in the Tactran Region

The two-wheeled revolution in the Tactran Region

The two-wheeled revolution

in the Tactran Region
Cycling is seeing a healthy and sustained growth across the Tactran region. With new routes and paths, increased investment in training and activity programmes, more availability of electric bikes and growing public interest in active travel, there’s never been a better time for cycling.

At Tactran, active travel represents a significant part of our work and we’re constantly striving to improve and develop sustainable solutions. This month Marianne Scott, Regional Cycle Training & Development Officer for Cycling Scotland/Tactran, tells us about the exciting cycling programmes in place in the region. There’s also news of: two successful Sustrans bids, Tactran grants and Stirling’s bike-share scheme for over-14s.

Cycling programmes in the Tactran area 

Marianne Scott works for Cycling Scotland and is based in Tactran’s Perth offices. Marianne’s remit is to develop cycling across the four Tactran local authorities, encouraging everyone from nursery children to older citizens to enjoy the benefits of biking. She explains what’s involved in the Cycling Scotland programmes and how they’re helping people in the Tactran region.

Play on Pedals

Play on Pedals helps pre-school children to develop cycling skills, by learning on balance bikes (bikes without pedals) before moving onto pedal bikes. They get used to moving on the bikes, learn about helmets and bike parts, and find out how to look after their bikes. “The programme was written for the Early Years setting and is run by nursery educators,” explains Marianne. “We upskill the educators with Play on Pedals qualifications through the local authorities and they run the programmes in their nurseries. It fits in with Curriculum for Excellence, it’s a fun and enjoyable course and the staff and kids love it.

“We’ve been doing Play on Pedals for three years in the Tactran area, with all four local authorities fully embracing the programme and 85% of nursery educators having gained the qualifications.”

Bikeability Scotland

Bikeability Scotland gives children in Primary 5 to S1 the confidence to cycle on the roads, along with essential knowledge of bikes and bike maintenance.

With three levels, the kids progress from any starting point to navigating roads safely. Each level is packed with games and fun as well as useful learning. Marianne supports local authority coordinators to train teachers and parents as Cycle Training Assistants (CTAs) and, when the school’s ready to go live, a trained mentor comes in to guide the trained CTAs, giving them complete control.

Level 1 starts in the playground. The kids get used to cycling round their peers, balance and control and stopping/starting at mocked-up junctions. In Level 2 we take them out in groups onto quieter roads, cycling with peers, interacting with cars and pedestrians and learning about distance and real junctions. It’s a big leap for some of the children, but it’s good fun.

 “Level 3 is for Primary 7 through to S1. It’s about bigger journeys on busier traffic routes, navigating roundabouts, multi-lane roads, traffic lights and inner-city traffic,” says Marianne. “Sometimes there’s peer pressure at this age, too, with children concerned about clothing or getting sweaty. We help to break those barriers down and, once they’re out there, they enjoy it.”

How do schools or parents get involved with Bikeability?

“Schools and parents should visit the Cycling Scotland website. We are fortunate to have four Bikeability coordinators across the Tactran local authorities, who are doing an amazing job. As time goes on we’re getting more and more interest.”

Essential Cycling Skills

Essential Cycling Skills is our range of practical training and resources to help adults develop confidence and cycling skills. Marianne says, “We work through what each person wants to get from the course and look at bikes, clothing, lights and cycling in inclement weather. As on our kids’ courses, we teach participants how to check a bike from back wheel to front to ensure everything’s fine.”

There’s also an Essential Cycling Skills app for Apple and Android which develops and tests knowledge through seven different levels from beginner to regular commuter, as well as a useful handbook and many Essential Cycling Skills training videos.

The Institute of Sport and Exercise has now embedded cycling into their programme for the first time.

Essential Cycling Skills in the community

Marianne explains that Essential Cycling Skills can be accessed easily, in three different ways:

1) through communities, hubs and clubs

2) via employers, and

3) through general enquiries at bike shops and retailers. 

“These groups and hubs don’t always have the capacity to take people out for cycling sessions, but we can send in our trainers, fund the training and enable access to bikes and equipment,” she adds. “It’s not just traditional bikes – it’s tricycles, electric bikes, side-by-side bikes. There are group sessions or one-to-ones. We believe anyone anywhere should have the opportunity to cycle.”

Adult Cycling at the Institue of Sport and Exercise

Marianne has been working with The Active Living Members group, adults aged from about 50 to 90, at the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise. Some live with long-term health conditions, such as COPD, asthma, dexterity issues or arthritis. 

“The group was really interested in cycling,” says Marianne, “but some people were apprehensive. Some hadn’t cycled since childhood, others couldn’t remember how. We also had to adapt to any health conditions to ensure that each of them could be comfortable on a bike. 

“We upskilled them with Essential Cycling Skills sessions over an eight-week period. We gave them access to bikes, clothing, electric bikes and all the necessary knowledge. They started out not being able to cycle and now they have a weekly cycling group. They even had a Christmassy cycle over the Tay Road Bridge last year, all wearing tinsel! They volunteered at the 2018 Glasgow European Championships, too. Their enthusiasm is fantastic, as these quotes show.”

“I didn’t expect to learn as much and improve so much. Gaining road sense was very valuable. I joined the class only in the hope of cycling the bike pathways…I have been out on a 21-mile ride, some of it on the road, and it feels great to be back cycling.” (Marie, participant)

“Great course, thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to be able to cycle everywhere.” (Tony, participant)

“Although I began cycling in the 1960’s I had never thought about some skills I have learned. The course was well organised.”  (Ray, participant)


Cycle Friendly Organisations

Through funding from Transport Scotland, Cycling Scotland has created Cycling Friendly, a  programme of support across Scotland. What does this mean?

Cycling Friendly schools make it easy for kids to cycle to school, by offering changing facilities, cycle-parking facilities and an active-travel contact in the school,” explains Marianne. Local authorities can identify safe travel corridors for the pupils, as well as putting in safety measures, e.g. pelican crossings, better traffic-light sequences or bollards outside the school.

“Secondary schools can apply for up to £4000 in grants to help them put in infrastructure, from bike fleets to changing facilities, bike-storage facilities, workstations and tools. It can also be used to upskill pupils and staff with qualifications. It helps to break down many barriers to school cycling, such as lack of confidence or facilities.”

Colleges, universities, employers and community groups can also apply for Cycling Friendly status, giving access to funding, resources, training and equipment. It also opens them up to connections in their areas such as route-planning, community links and Plus bids via Sustrans.

Cycling for social housing residents

Cycling Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans Scotland are working with housing associations across Scotland and have opened up grant funding for new and existing housing areas, to improve walking and cycling facilities including making it easier to store bikes safely. 

As Marianne explains, “New housing estates have car parking and bin spaces, but often no bike spaces. It would be great if everyone who needed to could safely park a bike. That’s happening now thanks to this grant funding. With older buildings it’s not always possible to build this in, but we’re looking at other options, e.g. bike-parking on the street next to a bus shelter or community centre, so that people have easy access.”

 Find out more

To find out more about any of these Cycling Scotland programmes, contact Marianne Scott on [email protected]

Sustrans funding wins for Angus and Perth & Kinross

At Tactran we were delighted when Angus Council and Perth & Kinross Council won significant funding from the Sustrans-managed Places for Everyone competition.

The Accessible Arbroath project will remove major barriers preventing people walking, cycling and wheeling by converting two lanes of the A92 into a new segregated cycleway and widened pedestrian routes. Integrated active travel and local transport will benefit staff and students at Dundee and Angus College, local residents and visitors. The award is worth £6.92 million.

The Perth, People, Place project has received £6.45 million for the first arm of its cycle network, which will connect the neighbourhoods of Bertha Park, Inveralmond and Muirton to the City Centre. The project aims to make Dunkeld Road a key walking and cycling artery for local travel, by reallocating parts of the A912 dual-carriageway to create a fully segregated cycle-lane and improved footways as well as public realm improvements and green infrastructure. A proposed bridge connecting to National Cycle Network Route 77 will provide a link with villages north of Perth.

Stirling launches UK’s first bike-share scheme for over-14s

There was great news from Stirling in September with the announcement of the UK’s first bike-share scheme for young people over the age of 14. Its backers hope giving teenagers easy access to a free public bike scheme will “instil active travel habits”.

Forth Environment Link (FEL), a charity, has set up rental stations and 10 bikes at each of three schools: Bannockburn, Stirling and Wallace high schools. A fourth station will follow at St Modan’s High School.

Active Travel Grant will connect communities

The Tactran Active Travel Grant, a partnership between Tactran and Sustrans, aims to connect communities by providing high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure.

It’s available to all partners in the region including councils, National Parks, Health Boards, higher- and further-education establishments and other statutory bodies. Community organisations and businesses can be considered but must work in partnership with their Council or other statutory body. 

To date the Active Travel Grant has awarded approximately £650,000 grant funding, with projects including:

  • Carse of Gowrie Cycle and Ride (awarded £20,000) – secure cycle parking at key bus stops along the A90 between Perth and Dundee;
  • Bridge of Allan: Safe Route to School (awarded £5,000) – to improve crossing safety along the route to the primary school.;
  • Cycle racks at New Community Campus, Brechin (awarded £5,000) – to allow Angus Council to install Sheffield racks with a Perspex cover at the main door.

This year (2019/20) the Tactran board has asked that the fund be targeted towards helping with access to sites across NHS Tayside and NHS Forth Valley and/or to higher and further education facilities. We are currently identifying these projects and we’ll share news of the awards soon.

The Regional Active Travel Development Fund (RATDF)

In 2018/19, Transport Scotland awarded funding to Tactran via the Regional Active Travel Development Fund. We worked with the four Tactran local authorities – Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross and Stirling – and took forward feasibility studies on active travel options between settlements across the region. We looked at:

  • Brechin to Montrose

  • Dunkeld to Blairgowrie

  • Stirling to Larbert via Plean.  

We have completed the final report which includes various options and costs. The routes are part of the Regional Walking and Cycling Network (RWCN).

Tactran Regional Active Travel Audits

Tactran carried out 13 audits over 2016/18 and 18/19 across the region, in particular Dundee North. The Tactran Regional Active Travel Audits are now used by the local authorities when taking forward developments within the audited areas. 

The aim of the study was to provide:

  • updated information of existing active travel networks, including infrastructure and facilities for walking and cycling;
  • information and a map of potential active travel network, including recommended infrastructure and facilities;
  • a proposal for investment in active travel infrastructure in each settlement to help guide potential future active-travel investment.

For more information on the projects we hope to take forward across the region, please see pp.27-34 of the Tactran RTS Delivery Plan.

Link and Contacts

There’s a growing number of organisations and programmes helping to develop cycling across the Tactran region. Here are some you may find useful:

Next Month

In November we’ll be bringing you exciting news of developments at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital, which is expanding access to active travel, improving its infrastructure and pathways and easing parking issues. Visit the Tactran blog to find out more, and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

About Tactran

Tactran is one of seven statutory Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) covering Scotland. The Tactran region forms an important hub at the heart of Scotland's transport network and includes the local authority areas of Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. Together these make up just under 10% of Scotland’s land mass and nearly 12% of the nation’s population.

Our primary purpose is to develop a Regional Transport Strategy setting out a vision for the medium- to long-term future of transport in the area and to oversee its implementation.

Contact us with your queries, suggestions and comments

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Electric Vehicles – the latest from the Tactran region

Electric Vehicles – the latest from the Tactran region

Electric Vehicles

the latest from the Tactran region

This month we bring news from the Tactran region of exciting developments in Electric Vehicles (EVs). In this blog we’ll talk about our soon-to-be-launched Electric Vehicle Strategy, as well as the Switched On Stirling project, Dundee’s pop-up chargers, the Low Carbon hub in Perth, and more.

To stay up to date with our latest developments, follow us on Twitter.

Tactran’s Electric Vehicle Strategy

The Tactran region has some of the most innovative and extensive infrastructure in the UK, including Tesla superchargers and the integration of battery storage and solar generation at charging hubs.

In October 2018, Dundee was named as the most visionary city in Europe for electric vehicles by the World Electric Vehicle Association at a ceremony in Japan.

The four Tactran authorities are making great strides individually and now we’re looking to build on this work and develop and implement a regional strategy for EVs.

Why is an EV strategy needed?

Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end in Scotland by 2032. The predicted EV fleet share could be as high as 65% by this point. (It’s currently less than 1%.) This could mean that 18,000 publicly accessible charge points will be required in the region+ – a 4,400% increase on the current 400.

This increased EV use must be accommodated as part of a holistic approach to electrification of the whole transport sector along with maximising other sustainable travel opportunities.

What has been done so far?

Tactran commissioned Urban Foresight, the world’s first dedicated smart city consultancy, who developed the original roadmap for Transport Scotland and who manage Dundee’s Mobility Innovation Living Lab (MILL) to help develop a regional EV strategy.

We have looked at the current infrastructure that the four authorities have projected and the likely uptake of electric vehicle usage, as well as where electric vehicles are currently based and used. 

On 25 June 2019 Tactran facilitated a workshop with local authority officers and key stakeholders including the University of Dundee, Electric Vehicle Association Scotland and charge-point providers. We engaged with a further 30-40 additional stakeholders through one-to-one interviews about their use of EVs, and researched other countries which have pushed EVs significantly, such as Norway, where the EV fleet share is already around 20%.

Our vision

We have developed a draft vision for the Tactran area – “To be Scotland’s exemplar region for enabling the electrification of transport in the context of a smart, integrated, sustainable mobility system”.

Three key interrelated themes were identified in taking the strategy forward:

  1. Supporting vehicle uptake
  2. Developing infrastructure 
  3. Promoting electric mobility

The 13 objectives of the strategy focus on the scope in which we can implement meaningful change, and will account for the different market sectors, vehicle types and ownership types.

In short, this is not just about replacing fossil-fuelled cars for electric ones. Our holistic approach considers the wider transport network, how EVs fit into that network along with other modes of transport such as cycling and how this will support our communities and businesses to prosper. 

Next steps

In the near future we propose bringing together a regional EV forum, to allow the key players to collaborate and develop detailed action plans for each area and help push projects forward. This will also give us potentially greater access to funding opportunities. 

In September we will take our draft EV strategy to the Tactran Board for approval and aim to publish the final document shortly afterwards. We’ll publish it here but please email [email protected] if you’d like to be one of the first to receive an electronic copy.

Switched On Stirling

The Switched On Stirling project will receive up to £2.2m to support the installation of 133 electric vehicle (EV) charging bays across the city and nearby settlements, as well as the procurement of EVs. The project, led by Stirling Council, includes the addition of almost 80 publicly available EV charging bays at locations including the Wellgreen multi-storey car park, Springkerse Park & Ride, the University of Stirling, community facilities and residential areas.

Perth’s Low Carbon Transport Hub

The Low Carbon Transport hub to be created at Broxden Park & Ride, Perth, will use innovative low-carbon technologies to provide and support alternative fuelling facilities. 

A combination of on-site renewable energy generation from a solar array and solar canopies, and a battery storage unit, will be deployed to sustainably support the EV charging systems. This new combination will enable the EV provision at the site to be self-supporting for the first two years of operation.

The Low Carbon Transport Hub will also link to the proposed development at Perth West, which is being developed by the John Dewar Lamberkin Trust, Perth & Kinross Council and other bodies including Tactran and Transport Scotland. This project will receive up to £5 million in Tay Cities funding, subject to a robust business case. It comprises a national Eco Innovation Business Park and sustainable expansion to the city of Perth supported by a smart energy grid.

The Electric A9

The Scottish Government is developing its longest EV-ready route, the Electric A9. The route will expand and reinforce Scotland’s existing EV charge place infrastructure, run along the entire route of the A9, Scotland’s longest road at 273 miles (439km). The Electric A9 will provide EV charging for long-distance journeys, local charging for businesses and residents, and charging at your destination.

The Electric A9 EV ChargePlace Scotland hubs will be located along the route of the A9 within local communities, stretching from Falkirk Stadium in the south to Scrabster Harbour in the north. Each hub facility will provide multiple charge points and, importantly, give access to associated amenities. 

Find out more

To keep up to date with developments along the Electric A9, and the latest about charge points in Scotland, follow Tactran and ChargePlaceScotland on Twitter.

A new way to charge EVs in Dundee 

Pop-up electric car chargers will appear in Dundee streets thanks to new funding, as the city’s innovative electric vehicle infrastructure moves up a gear.

Smart city consultancy Urban Foresight has been awarded £3 million from the Westminster Government’s Innovate UK scheme for tests into low-cost, scalable charging solutions for electric vehicle users with on-street parking. Up to 18 charging hubs will be installed in Dundee and Plymouth, mainly in residential and public streets. The chargers will be ‘pop-up’ models, to avoid street clutter and obstructions and integrate the equipment into the streetscape.  

Dr. David Beeton, CEO of Urban Foresight said: “Dundee is already recognised as one of the best places in the world to drive an electric vehicle. We’re delighted to have secured this additional investment for the city which should make it even easier for many more people to go electric.”

Project partners include Urban Electric, Appy Parking, Dundee City Council, Plymouth City Council, Co-Wheels Car Club and Duku Product Design and Development.

Dundee to expand its fleet of EVs and charge points

The Dundee Partnership: 95 Electric project, led by Dundee City Council, will receive up to £2,498,097 over two financial years to support the procurement of up to 95 EVs in the local authority and partner organisation fleets. The funding will also support the installation of an additional 66 EV charging bays across the city and surrounding area.

The project proposes installation of a rapid EV charging hub at Claverhouse East Energy Park and charging facilities at community centres. Each of the project partners – Dundee University, Dundee and Angus College and NHS Tayside – will host EV charging facilities across six sites.

Dundee City Council plans to explore making available EVs for public use as well as developing an intelligent web-based app to support access to a range of services including EV charge point availability and booking of EV car club vehicles.

Next month

In October we’ll be exploring cycling. It’s experiencing a surge in popularity, boosted by a new generation of electric bikes, and we’ll be bringing you cycling news and developments happening across the Tactran region. Visit the Tactran blog to find out more, and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

Dundee EV images courtesy of Urban Foresight

Blue Nissan Leaf Image courtesy of Angus Forbes

A9 image reproduced with kind permission by Transport Scotland

All other images – Tactran

About Tactran

Tactran is one of seven statutory Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) covering Scotland. The Tactran region forms an important hub at the heart of Scotland's transport network and includes the local authority areas of Angus, Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Stirling. Together these make up just under 10% of Scotland’s land mass and nearly 12% of the nation’s population.

Our primary purpose is to develop a Regional Transport Strategy setting out a vision for the medium- to long-term future of transport in the area and to oversee its implementation.

Contact us with your queries, suggestions and comments

View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.