Edinburgh Walking and Cycling Index

Formerly known as Bike Life, this is the UK's biggest ever study of walking, wheeling and cycling.

The Walking and Cycling Index allows us to understand how residents, visitors and businesses use and move about our streets. It also highlights how residents feel about Edinburgh as a place to walk and wheel around.

Every year, walking and cycling in Edinburgh results in:


serious long-term health conditions prevented

£186.2 million

in economic benefit for individuals and the region

38,000 tonnes

of greenhouse gas emissions saved

Icon of navy car.

Up to 150,000

cars taken off the road every day

Al from the all-abilities club Frontrunners explains the difficulties that Elaine and others face when getting around Edinburgh on wheels.

Murdo, 80-years-old

I go for a walk most days now thanks to the Tuesday morning walking group, run by Edinburgh & the Lothians Greenspace Trust. It was hard to find the motivation to go for a walk by myself.

Since joining the group I have more energy, sleep better and walk more instead of taking the bus.

I like the social side of it as you get to talk to people from different walks of life. I always find that I feel happier on a Tuesday afternoon after walking with the group. I usually walk along a route that has bus stops so that I can have a rest on a bench if I need to.

It’d be great to have more benches everywhere.

Walking, wheeling, and cycling boost to environment and economy

Results from The Edinburgh Walking and Cycling Index show that 66% of residents walk at least five days a week - more than any other mode of transport, and above the average of 50% for all cities in the Index. 

However, nearly 71 million journeys of up to three miles, many of which could potentially be walked or cycled, are still driven in Edinburgh each year.

Most respondents - 78% - said more shops and everyday services close to home would encourage them to walk and wheel more.

The same number supported the creation of more 20-minute neighbourhoods.

Twenty-three per cent of residents currently don’t cycle but would like to.

And 64% say more physically segregated cycle lanes on roads would help them to take up cycling, with access to secure cycle storage at or near home (57%) amongst other incentives to cycling.

Front cover of the Edinburgh Walking and Cycling Index

Download the Edinburgh Walking and Cycling Index

See Edinburgh's vision for walking, wheeling and cycling.

Download the report.

This report is also available in a text-only format.

Bike Life Edinburgh through the years

This is the fourth time we've collaborated with the City of Edinburgh Council to survey cycling in the city. Want to see how things have progressed?

Download our previous reports:

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