The role of cycling

Cycling has the potential to tackle the big challenges that we face in our world today. 

From the health of our planet to the health of our people, supporting our economy to tackling inequalities, bikes have an important role to play in supporting…

Our environment

  • In Scotland, transport accounts for 28% of emissions: it is the largest source of greenhouse gas and the only sector to have seen an increase in emissions. The highest contributor is from our roads. With over half of journeys in Scotland being under 5km, cycling has a huge role to play in helping to tackle the biggest challenge we face as a society: climate change. Choosing to cycle helps to reduce not only greenhouse gases, but also harmful noise and air pollutants.
  • Cycling can also have a positive impact in environments where we live, work and spend time: by reprioritising our spaces to encourage active travel, we can support neighbourhoods, improve accessibility, and re-connect spaces to important services.  

Our economy

  • Cycling is not only an affordable way to get around, it supports the health of our economies too. Studies show that cycling friendly spaces can result in higher retail spend, supporting local economies.
  • The benefits of cycling can boost productivity of workforces as well as offer a cost-saving to governments by improving and supporting public health and wellbeing.  

Our society  

  • Cycling can provide a way for people to access jobs, education, services, travel to meet family and friends and to leisure facilities, removing the expense of private car ownership and maintenance. For young people, older people, people living in rural areas, those on low incomes or in insecure work, this can be vital. 
  • Improving places to make it easier to walk, cycle and wheel works to overcome inequalities and helps improve transport accessibility for people with disabilities

Our health

  • Cycling, even for short journeys, is proven to be beneficial for our health and wellbeing, lowering blood pressure, reducing the likelihood of developing diseases and increasing energy levels.
  • With one in every four people experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their lives, and all of us needing to support our mental wellbeing, cycling has a valuable role to play in helping to keep our bodies and our minds healthy.