Sustrans Scotland is calling to lower the speed limits on some rural roads in Scotland to 40mph, to increase the quality and safety of National Cycle Network routes across the country.
The "Paths for Everyone" report and accompanying action plan for Scotland found that 57 per cent of the network route in Scotland was rated as ‘Very Poor’, with a further two per cent as ‘Poor’.
All of the routes classified as ‘Very Poor’ are on-road, and more than half of the issues on the network in Scotland can be related to concerns around traffic safety, the charity has said.
The call comes as the charity releases the findings from its first ever UK-wide audit of the National Cycle Network.
Sustrans Scotland national director John Lauder said: “Scotland’s unique geography means that a large proportion of National Cycle Network routes here are based on rural roads.
“And whilst it is heartening to see that the majority of our off-road routes are ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’, which reflects the investment by the Scottish Government, in particular over the past five years, and the commitment by our partners, we still face a big challenge where National Cycle Network routes are on public roads.
“Reducing the speed limit to 40mph on on-road sections of the National Cycle Network as part of a range of complementary measures will help make these popular walking and cycling routes safer, better and more reliable for all users.
“Scottish government investment of £6.9 million in the National Cycle Network has allowed us to upgrade and develop a number of key sections of route, including some of which have been identified as priorities within this report. However there is still more which needs to be done.
“Our review of the network has given us a clear insight into what improvements need to be made and we are optimistic that between our plan and Scottish government’s ambition, we have the direction and support to create a network in Scotland that works for everyone.”