​​How can we make it easier for everyone to walk, wheel and cycle in Scotland?​

We’ve just released our five steps to improve our neighbourhoods, health and the economy after the general election.

Even though many transport and health policies are devolved to the Scottish Government, MPs returned from Scotland can still play an important role in improving the places they represent and the lives of their constituents.

Why this matters in Scotland

People across Scotland want better choices.  

They want to walk, wheel and cycle more and drive less.  

Our Walking and Cycling Index 2023 surveyed people across all eight Scottish cities.  

It found that 57% want to see more funding which supports walking and wheeling, and 47% want more investment in cycling – compared to just 30% who would like to see an increase in spend for driving in our cities. 

But many still feel locked into depending on their cars to get from A to B, especially in Scotland’s rural communities. This simply isn’t fair. 

Getting more people in Scotland walking, wheeling and cycling would make our neighbourhoods safer and more inclusive, help our high streets thrive, improve people’s health, and cut carbon emissions. 

Our five steps

People right across the UK want to walk, wheel and cycle more of their everyday journeys. 

But inaccessible pavements, unsafe streets, poor links with public transport, and the costs of bike ownership are holding them back.  

That’s bad news for people’s health, the places they live and for our economy. 

We can change that if we:

  1. Make our streets safe for children.
  2. Give everyone access to a bike.
  3. Build developments where all the essentials are close.
  4. Make the National Cycle Network work for everyone.
  5. Create a transport strategy that works for everyone.

How can we do this in Scotland?

Our five steps are important wherever people are. In Scotland, MPs can help us achieve them by:


Making it cheaper and easier to own a bike

The high cost of transport, from running a car to travelling by train, is a major barrier for many people across Scotland.  

Cycling can help people save money.  But not everyone who wants a bike can afford one. E-bikes and non-standard cycles like trikes or handcycles help even more people cycle but are more expensive.  

Scotland’s MPs can help the next generation to cycle more by voting to: 

Remove VAT from children’s cycle sales. 

Expand the Cycle to Work scheme so more people who are not in work or who are on a low income can get a bike.  

The benefits of improving our population’s health and giving Scotland’s communities better access to work and education far outweigh the costs. 

Supporting safer, healthier communities for our young people to grow up in

Every parent should be able to let their children play, meet friends and get around their neighbourhood without worrying about risks from traffic.

A healthy, active childhood can lead to a lifetime of health benefits, from better mental health to lower levels of obesity. With health inequalities widening across Scotland, we need to give every child the best start in life.

Councils across Scotland are taking action to make our streets safer: creating safe routes to school, implementing ‘School Streets’ and reducing speed on roads.

MPs have a key role in making these a success, by making sure that their constituents know about them, championing the benefits and feeding back where changes need to be made.

Making the National Cycle Network work for everyone

Scotland’s 1620 miles of National Cycle Network routes are the backbone of our walking, wheeling and cycling network, connecting urban and rural communities. 

44% of Scotland’s population live within 1km of the National Cycle Network.  

A local MP can help more people experience the benefits of the Network by: 

  • Supporting the case for maintaining National Cycle Network routes  
  • Advocating for and supporting locally led work to improve and expand the Network in their constituency.  
  • Championing the National Cycle Network’s value to Scotland.

Championing fairness

Our transport system doesn’t work for everyone.  

Across all parts of the UK, there is a movement to address this. We need to improve road safety, give people more transport options and tackle the barriers that disabled people face getting around – whether they’re walking, wheeling, cycling, using public transport or driving. 

Scotland’s MPs can help by: 

  • Supporting action to build an equitable, inclusive transport system which tackles transport poverty. 
  • Supporting investment in sustainable choices which support those on low incomes to access work, services and meet their daily needs.


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