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Healthy, sustainable journeys for all

Active travel, with safety in mind, is good for everyone in Scotland.

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  • Walking and cycling is key

  • Great for fitness

  • Good for the environment

  • Better for Scotland

Being active is a great way to travel

Walking and cycling are good for the environment and can help with fitness and mental wellbeing. Active travel can also make any journey more enjoyable – as long as it’s done safely.

What you need to know

  • More active travel is a key aim for Scotland’s future
  • Walking is free and good for our health
  • Cycling offers a range of fitness benefits
  • Travelling this way helps to cut emissions and ease congestion
  • It’s part of Scotland’s plan to reach net zero by 2045

Helping Scotland to move forward

Even though walking and cycling have so many benefits, a lot of people still choose other travel options – even for short journeys.

To encourage more active journeys, there are initiatives all over Scotland to make sure safer travel environments are in place – making walking and cycling easy choices.

Take a simple step towards better living

Walking is a free and easy way of being more physically active and taking a walk really does have so many benefits.

Looking out for your health

For starters, walking can help prevent a range of health conditions, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers
  • Alzheimer’s

Good for your health

Walking more can make a huge difference to your overall health and wellbeing.

It can help to:

  • Make you sleep better
  • Manage pain and a range of long-term conditions
  • Build stamina, burn calories and make your heart healthier
  • Reduce falls in older adults
  • Increase feelings of self-esteem
  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce anxiety and depression

Read more on the benefits of walking for your health.

Good for the environment

Walking instead of driving can help to reduce vehicle emissions and ease congestion. To help improve safety, there are more and more dedicated footpaths – letting us enjoy our urban spaces.

Roughly 26%* of all car journeys in Scotland are less than 2km in length. These journeys could easily be done on foot or by bike.

Harnessing the power of pedals

Scotland is committed to increasing cycling levels – both for everyday travel and for leisure. That’s because cycling brings a huge range of benefits to us all.

It can:

  • Reduce noise pollution
  • Cut exhaust emissions
  • Improve health
  • Give us more time to enjoy our urban spaces
  • Save money

Find out more about cycling in Scotland

Great for younger people

Cycling on everyday journeys – like to and from school – is good for mental and physical health and can be a great way to enjoy more time outdoors.

A healthier culture

Businesses and other organisations who develop a cycling and walking culture can help to:

  • Lower organisational transport costs
  • Reduce the need for expensive car parking spaces
  • Increase productivity through improved staff wellbeing
  • Show a commitment to protecting the environment
  • Be eligible for accreditation schemes like the Healthy Working Lives Award and the Cycle Friendly Employer Award

Scotland’s National Cycle Network

The cycle network is promoted and developed by Sustrans and Transport Scotland, in partnership with:

  • Local and national roads and planning authorities
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Scottish Canals
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • National Park Authorities
  • Landowners and other bodies.

Cycle repairs for everyone

To help get more people on their bikes, the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme can help pay for repairs if people don’t have the funds.

The scheme will:

  • Help fix flat tyres, loose brakes and clunky gears
  • Offer free bike repair and maintenance work up to £100 for a specialist bike
  • Be inclusive and accessible for all
  • Give people who use manual wheelchairs access to free repairs
  • Make all kinds of bikes welcome, including:
    • Adult and child bikes
    • Tandems
    • Trikes
    • Handcycles
    • Non-standard and adapted bikes

Scottish Climate Change Plan

The Scottish Government’s vision for 2045 prioritises the environment and people’s wellbeing.
The aim is to reach net zero in a way that is fair and just to all. This will involve people and communities – so everyone can benefit from the widespread, positive changes.

For example, changes to:

  • How we live, work and travel
  • Our energy system, industries, the natural environment and agriculture sector
  • How we use and process materials
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