People in Edinburgh are being encouraged to make even part of their journey by active travel – walking, wheeling or cycling – and repeat some of the benefits of daily exercise during the pandemic.

On the day when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issue their report on the science behind climate change, it is particularly appropriate to think of ways to help the city achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030. The IPCC has said today that climate change is “widespread, rapid and intensifying”. The report states: “The report also shows that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. The evidence is clear that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change, even as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants also affect the climate.”

Transport Convener, Lesley Macinnes said: “Lots of people have really enjoyed the health benefits of choosing to walk, wheel or cycle more during this last difficult period, whether it has been for exercise, changing how we get to work or for living our lives more locally.

“‘Meet Me Halfway’ will encourage people in every part of Edinburgh to keep choosing those methods of getting around this summer, especially when friends and family are meeting up to spend time in a park, going to one of Edinburgh’s festivals, indulging in a bit of retail therapy, or just enjoying a get together. It’s a campaign highlighting the great walking and cycling routes in Edinburgh, including Quiet Routes for less confident cyclists and the National Cycle Network. There’s lots of information available on the Council website to help you plan a new or unfamiliar route.”

Active travel

Restrictions have now been lifted on public transport, and it is expected that buses and trams will become busier in the coming days and weeks. Active travel can not only help with getting around the city, but can also be an antidote to the stress of everyday life.

Sustrans have some helpful advice on the health benefits of cycling and walking in Scotland, and NHS Inform have some advice for wheelchair users.

The council has produced maps to show the various ways of getting around Edinburgh to any one of the major festivals in their Meet Me Halfway campaign.

If you don’t have a bike or only want to use a bike for part of the journey then the Just Eat bikes cost £1.50 per journey with more than 90 hire points.

And if you would like to buy a bike then Cycling UK in Scotland has a new programme called Shift to help gain confidence and skills to help you hop on a bike in the city.