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Friday, April 19, 2024

Report Reveals That Walking, Wheeling and Cycling in Inverness Takes up to 16,000 Cars off The Road Each Day  

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The UK’s most comprehensive assessment of walking, wheeling, and cycling in cities, has revealed every day, walking, wheeling, and cycling in Inverness takes up to 16,000 cars off the road which saves 3,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.  

It also highlights that 12,000 return walking and wheeling trips are made daily in the city by people who could have used a car.

If these cars were all in a traffic jam it would tail back 36 miles – the equivalent distance from Inverness to beyond Fort Augustus. 

City Leader, Councillor Ian Brown said:

“This latest Walking and Cycling Index reports that 49% of our residents walk or wheel, and 9% cycle, on five or more days a week.

“It also shows over a third of residents would like to use public transport more, and almost a third would like to drive less.

“There is also a clear appetite for improvements.

“Residents want more services and amenities within walking and wheeling distance.

“66% support the creation of low traffic neighbourhoods, 73% think that wider pavements would help them walk or wheel more, 64% support the creation of segregated cycle paths alongside roads, and 61% agree that more space for socialising, walking, wheeling and cycling would improve their local area.

“We are steadily delivering on this vision with key projects in Inverness already completed including the Raigmore Active Travel Link and more underway, such as the transformational Riverside works linking up Ness Walk with Bught Park. 

“The report’s findings will help us with future planning and decision-making to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position to create a bigger, better, safer and more cohesive walking, wheeling and cycling network in Inverness.” 

Karen McGregor, Director, Sustrans Scotland, said:

“I’d like to thank the people of Inverness who gave us their time to take part in the Walking and Cycling Index.

“The Index results show that making walking, wheeling and cycling the most accessible and desirable form of transport is of great importance to people, especially during the current cost of living crisis. 

“There is clear evidence that residents in the city want the option to walk, wheel and cycle to where they need to get to more often and to have generous pavements that are well-maintained and clear of parked cars; they want safe, accessible cycle paths and pedestrian crossings; and they want more investment in public transport. 

“The latest Index results show that The Highland Council has the backing of the public to build on the work it has already started to make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle to get around.” 

A number of Inverness residents took part in a launch event for the report which was held earlier today at the Spectrum Centre.  

Cycling champion Joolz said:

“I had never cycled before but a friend convinced me to give it a go during lockdown.

“He fixed up my bike to make it more comfortable, and rides with Breeze and Velocity Café helped me build my confidence on the road. 

“I immediately loved the freedom of cycling, and I stopped taking my car for short journeys.

“Now I’m a cycle trainer! 

“I think we need more joined up cycle paths away from traffic, to help people gain confidence and cycle more – if I can do it, anyone can.” 

E-bike advocate Judith added:

“I suffered central vision loss a few years ago, which meant I was no longer able to drive.

“I’d always been a social cyclist so I went to my local bike shop and bought an e-bike.

“I can honestly say it has transformed my life.

“My e-bike has given me back a sense of independence.” 

Emily Williams, Inverness’s Bicycle Mayor, said:

“As Scotland’s first Bicycle Mayor, I want to be a strong voice for cycling in Inverness and to create positive representation of cycling as being for everyone.

“With better infrastructure, the journey from beginner to everyday cyclist would be so much easier.”  

The Walking and Cycling Index is supported by funding from Transport Scotland. 

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