Following four successful programmes in Scotland, Members of Scottish Parliament praised the success of Beat the Street in encouraging whole communities to get active in a debate regarding the promotion of Active Travel in Scotland.
In the discussion held on 31 October, Beat the Street was highlighted for its potential to improve the health and environment of local communities through encouraging active travel. Fulton MacGregor, Member of Scottish Parliament for Coatbridge and Chryston, commended the National Charity Partnership funded programme in North Lanarkshire.
Colin Smyth, Member of Scottish Parliament for South Scotland, praised successive initiatives in Dumfries & Galloway and called Beat the Street “a clear example of the benefits of creative and locally led interventions. I whole-heartedly commend the scheme, and I hope that it will be rolled out in other communities as a result of the increase in active travel funding.”
The debate was in response to a Motion lodged by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands in the Scottish Government, recognising a recent 100% increase in funding for active travel in Scotland and the appointment of an Active Nation Commissioner in 2018.
Dr William Bird, CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, said: “It is fantastic to see the Scottish Parliament recognise the powerful impact that active travel can have on health, wellbeing and community cohesion.
“We are incredibly proud of all of our Beat the Street programmes which have not only engaged huge proportions of the local population but have resulted in substantial changes in activity — six months following Beat the Street in Stranraer, the amount of adults reporting no active travel decreased from 16% to just 2%.”
Following successful initiatives in Annan, Dalbeattie and Stranraer, Beat the Street returned for its fourth game in Dumfries & Galloway this August where more than 9,000 residents in Dumfries ran, walked and cycled an incredible 174,000 miles in just six weeks.
The debate was the second time in the past several months where Beat the Street has been praised by members of Scottish Parliament. In September 2017, Emma Harper, Member of Scottish Parliament for South Scotland, raised a motion to congratulate Dumfries and Galloway Council and their local authority partners for the launch of Beat the Street in Dumfries.