Published: 22nd FEBRUARY 2020

Scottish Greenways Programme

The Scottish Greenways Programme, funded by Transport Scotland, promotes walking, cycling and wheeling on traffic-free paths. We listen to and work with communities to make local routes more attractive, appealing and accessible places for everyone.

Cyclists and dog walker with white dog on tarmac cycle path with green verges

What is the Scottish Greenways Programme?

The Scottish Greenways Programme wants to increase the numbers of people choosing to walk, cycle and wheel (using a wheelchair, scooter, skateboard, or skates) by making traffic-free paths more welcoming, attractive and accessible spaces.

The programme’s two pilot projects (2020–2022) are the Bo’ness & Kinneil Foreshore and the River Leven Path.


The Greenways approach

We engage local communities and stakeholders

This initial engagement builds community interest and supports community groups, empowering communities within and beyond the project lifecycle.

We listen to local needs and aspirations

Communities are experts on the strengths and weaknesses of their local routes.

We work with those who live, work and play on or near the route to understand what they need to safely access the route, promoting healthier journey choices and reducing carbon emissions through active travel.

We work to improve paths and their environments

In conjunction with community organisations, we work to remove societal and physical barriers to using routes.

We also work with communities to design inclusive places for people, highlighting community identity and enhancing the natural environment through art and other interventions.

All of this work aims to improve access to green space for everyone and provide more opportunities for walking, cycling and wheeling.

We promote traffic-free routes and their communities

We work with the community to raise awareness of routes locally, through digital and physical promotion.

Our online journey planner showcases local and long-distance route, highlighting local businesses and contributing to sustainable economic growth as more people travel actively within and between communities.

Young boy and girl cycling on cycle path with woman walking a dog

The Scottish Greenways Programme in detail

The Greenways Programme is divided into four stages, delivered across two financial years:

  • Site Identification
  • Engagement
  • Delivery
  • Evaluation.

Site Identification

We work with local authorities and other partners to select sites that extend, upgrade or realign an existing portion of the National Cycle Network in urban areas.

The chosen routes will connect people to green space, and improve access to local amenities such as shops, schools, workplaces, and other services.

After sites are identified, we conduct a baseline analysis of route usage and demographics.


We then identify and engage with stakeholders and key community groups to identify key issues, ongoing projects, and goals.

This engagement allows us to form an ongoing advisory group for the project. We supplement this by running online and postal surveys to better understand the views of those who live, work and play in the area.

We then work with our key stakeholders to address key issues raised in the surveys.


Following our engagement stage, we oversee the delivery of infrastructure and community-based projects based on this feedback.

This also involves coordinating partner-led engagement to prevent engagement fatigue and also helping us to identify and engage with harder to reach groups.


Following the project’s delivery, a thorough qualitative and quantitative evaluation will be conducted to identify changes in route usage and users and public perceptions.

All reports are then shared with our delivery partners to help inform future projects.


How can I get involved with the Scottish Greenways Programme?

We want to work with local authorities and other delivery partners to expand the Scottish Greenways Programme across other sections of traffic-free National Cycle Network in Scotland.

Please get in touch with Ros Gibbons, Greenways Programme Coordinator by emailing

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