People asked to keep up the fantastic walking and cycling habits from lockdown

Lucy Johnston 2020, News

Aberdeen City Councillor Sandra Macdonald and Aberdeenshire Councillor Peter Argyle

A campaign was launched today to encourage people across the North-east to ‘keep it up’ with the good walking, cycling and wheeling habits from lockdown.

Both cycling and walking increased by huge percentages in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including an overall 85% rise in walking and cycling in the city.

The City and Shire Councils and transport partnership Nestrans are banding together to encourage residents across the region to keep on cycling and walking as much as possible rather than driving as it’s good for people’s health and bank balances, good for the environment, and good for reducing air pollutants.

Aberdeen City Council transport spokeswoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald, who is also Nestrans’ chair, said: “Our residents really embraced walking and cycling during lockdown and it would be fantastic if this continued as more people return to work and before they go back to their old habits.

“Walking, cycling and wheeling where you can is better for your health, wellbeing and bank balance and is also better for everyone’s health with less traffic fumes.

“We’d encourage people to keep up the good habits from lockdown and to think about how they could incorporate continuing to walk, cycle or wheel in their everyday lives whether for work or leisure.”

Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee and is also Nestrans’ vice-chair, added: “So much has changed during lockdown, but one of the most heartening aspects is seeing the increase in the number of people of all ages taking the opportunity to go walking and cycling across our North-east communities which is not only great from a health and wellbeing perspective, but great for the environment too.

“With such an abundance of great active travel routes across the region, I would encourage everyone to get out into the fresh air and enjoy our wonderful scenery this summer.”

For commuters coming into Aberdeen from Aberdeenshire, they could maybe think about using the park and ride sites at Bridge of Don, Craibstone or Kingswells to park their car and ride their bike – parking is free at all the sites.

For people who live and work in an Aberdeenshire town or a city community, walking or cycling to work would be a fantastic way of keeping up exercise levels or step counts.Many employers also take part in the Government’s Bike to Work tax-free scheme for buying a bike. More information is available at https://www.bike2workscheme.co.uk/.

Both Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council have downloadable free walking and cycling trails to help people explore the region, available at:

VisitAberdeenshire also has additional information and help for day trips incorporating walking and cycling at www.visitabdn.com.

People are reminded to adhere to current Scottish Government coronavirus guidance for walking and cycling, and to follow the Countryside Code when in parks, countryside or green areas.