By supporting more people in Scotland to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys, we will improve health, create safer communities and reduce environmental impacts.
Active travel simply means making journeys by physically active means - like walking, cycling, or scooting.
With over 50% of all driven journeys in Scotland being less than 5km, and 26% less than 2km, there is plenty of scope for achieving a significant shift to walking and cycling as the most sustainable forms of transport.
Walking is key to getting more people choosing to not use cars as it is ideal for shorter trips. Walking also forms part of public transport journeys – walking to and from buses, trams and trains. Positive impacts include:
- Reduced congestion
- Reduced air pollution
- Higher quality public realm
- Better physical, mental and social health
Investing in infrastructure and support for walking and cycling can increase economic growth and vibrancy. Those walking and cycling tend to spend more money locally than drivers. Increasing walking and cycling can stimulate economic growth in urban areas and benefit local shops.
Good infrastructure for walking and cycling is important, but people also need encouragement, support and guidance to change their behaviours and switch their journeys to on foot or by bike.
Our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, grant-funded by Transport Scotland, provides funding for local authorities and public, third and community sector organisations to develop and deliver projects to encourage walking and cycling across Scotland.
We work together with our partners and Transport Scotland to make Scotland an active nation where everyone chooses to walk or cycle for short journeys. This work supports the delivery of the National Walking Strategy, The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland and the Long-term Vision for Active Travel in Scotland.