Survey reveals majority support for cycling, walking and wheeling investment

OVER half (55 per cent) of almost 10,000 people surveyed in Scotland would like to see more government spending on walking, ‘wheeling’ and cycling.

According to the UK-wide walking and cycling charity, Sustrans – in its Walking and Cycling Index (here) – people walk or wheel more frequently than any other mode of urban transport. 58 per cent of people in Scotland walk at least five days a week.

Wheeling refers to the use of wheelchairs (manual and electric) and mobility scooters.

Says Sustrans: “The survey results come from Scotland’s seven cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Perth, the largest number of Scottish cities ever featured in this study.”

9,681 people in Scotland were surveyed during summer last year by Sustrans as part of its biennial Walking and Cycling Index, formerly known as Bike Life. It adds: “This is the first time that data has been released on walking and wheeling, as well as cycling. This assessment includes information on behaviours, attitudes, data on infrastructure and walkability and the benefits of walking and wheeling for residents and their city or region.”

Among other findings:

* 21 per cent of people in Scotland cycle at least once a week. However, the results reveal a gender divide – showing men are more than twice as likely (29 per cent) than women (13 per cent) to cycle at least once a week, while fewer women think cycling safety is good (39 per cent) compared to men (45 per cent);

* Banning pavement parking would help 68 per cent of all residents to walk or wheel more, while 70 per cent of residents think wider pavements would encourage them to do so. Results also show that 64 per cent of people in Scotland would like more government investment in public transport; and

* A total of 79 per cent of people support the creation of more ’20-minute neighbourhoods’, where amenities and services, such as shops, green space and GPs are located within a 20-minute return walk or wheel of where they live. However, the research found that 42 per cent of households are not within this distance to a GP.

PS A specific set of figures relating to Edinburgh can be found, here.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland