AN alliance of healthy living groups have called for the creation of segregated cycle lanes on all roads in Scotland's cities in a bid to get the nation more active.

The group, which includes the main hiking and cycling charities, also wants to see speed limits dropped to 20 mph and the promotion of safe walking routes through urban areas.

They have released a series of recommendations which they hope will influence political parties in the run up to next year's Holyrood elections.

The alliance of groups comprises seven Scottish organisations who together champion walking, cycling and sustainable transport, including CTC Scotland, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, and Transform Scotland.

Colin Howden, Director of Transform Scotland, said: "Our core aim is to see increased long term investment in active travel with a call for 10% of local and national transport budgets to be allocated to walking and cycling.

"While we recognise and welcome recent additional investment announcements by the Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, active travel investment remains at only 1-2% of the Scottish Government's transport budget."

Ian Findlay, Chief Officer of Paths for All, added: "Realising commitments to increase and enable everyday walking amongst the Scottish population will improve people's physical, mental and social health and decrease health inequalities - walking is physical activity which almost anyone can do for free from their front door.

"But too often it is taken for granted. Continued commitment and investment are required from all parties to ensure active choices are the first and easiest choices for people."

The group also call for the creation of a comprehensive network of walking and cycling routes in towns and cities across Scotland, measures to tackle pavement parking, and pursuing a 'Vision Zero' where no one is killed on Scotland's roads.

John Lauder, Director of Sustrans Scotland, said: "Enabling and promoting active travel needs to be put firmly on the party manifesto agenda for 2016.

"Now is the right time for the parties to commit to specific policies to increase levels of walking and cycling, as we believe this could be the game changer not only for Scotland's health but also for our economy and environment.

"We hope that the 2016 Scottish elections will be an exciting time for those of us who would like to see walking and cycling become the normal modes of transport for everyday shorter journeys."