Sustaining Dunbar is an excellent example of a community project using an innovative approach to inspire people to get on their bikes.
Paths for All – the charity that promotes everyday walking in Scotland – is aiming to inspire people across Scotland to take part in ‘active travel’ by sharing Sustaining Dunbar’s example of excellence.
Active travel is about walking and cycling for everyday short journeys. It helps improve quality of life and quality of place, bringing multiple benefits to people and the environment.
Sustaining Dunbar’s community empowerment, cycling and exercise programme is a successful community project using behaviour change and infrastructure improvements to increase active travel. The emphasis is on how teaching and encouraging youngsters to take up cycling and exercise has far reaching, longer term consequences on health, happiness and families. The initiative undertook work to research, produce and distribute a leaflet showing safe routes to the new local primary school and a ‘cycling code of conduct’.
On average only one per cent of all trips in Scotland are currently made by bike and 23% are made on foot. Scotland’s roads are dominated by cars with 64% of all trips being made by vehicles. Over 50% of all driven journeys in Scotland are less than 5km, and 26% are less than 2km, underlining a significant opportunity for walking and cycling to become the most sustainable forms of transport.
Sixteen organisations across Scotland, from community based projects to workplaces, including Sustaining Dunbar, have already invested in active travel programmes and are experiencing the benefits.
Paths for All wants to encourage communities and employers to follow in the footsteps of these organisations and has developed case studies highlighting this best practice. The case studies have been produced with financial support from Scottish Natural Heritage.
By opting for everyday walking and cycling, people can increase their physical activity, leading to improved health and well-being and helping to tackle the obesity epidemic facing Scotland today.
Active travel also helps to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.