Stirling’s passion for pedal power revealed

Stirling residents walk and wheel* the equivalent length of the UK 54 times every day, a new report has revealed.

Stirling’s passion for pedal power revealed
Stirling’s passion for pedal power revealed

Sustrans’ Walking and Cycling Index - the biggest assessment of walking, wheeling, and cycling in cities and urban areas across the UK and Ireland – has shown more than half (60%) of Stirling’s residents walk at least five days a week, with more than 20.9 million walking and wheeling trips locally in the past year.

The survey findings, which were published at a special launch event in the Albert Halls, highlight the local desire for increased active travel access and infrastructure, which Stirling Council is delivering across the region.

Stunning figures

Stirling Council’s convener for Environment and Housing, Cllr Jen Preston, said: “These stunning figures show Stirling residents have embraced the important health, economic and environmental benefits that walking, wheeling and cycling can deliver.

“The people of Stirling wish to walk, cycle and wheel to where they need to get to, and we are determined to help make that happen.”

Almost 21million (20.9 million) walking and wheeling trips were recorded in the report, totalling 23.4 million miles. This included:

  • 4 million trips by adults to a specific destination, e.g. work, school, shopping.
  • 1 million trips by children to school.
  • 4 million trips by adults and children for enjoyment or fitness (including running).

Stirling Council is working to deliver significant infrastructure improvements to meet the walking and cycling aspirations of its people, with investments in projects such as Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling, construction of which is now underway.

Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling – one of the cornerstone projects of the £90.2 million Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal – will create two active travel arteries, connecting people and places in the heart of Stirling like never before. It will also help Stirling Council to deliver on their commitment to reduce carbon emissions and be net zero by 2045.

The £9.5million project will see new infrastructure added to existing but currently disconnected routes over the next two years to create two new, fully connected travel corridors.

Route one will interlink Stirling Train station and the University of Stirling, taking in iconic landmarks like Old Stirling Bridge and the National Wallace Monument along the way. Route two will bridge the gaps between Forth Valley College and the City Centre along Albert Place, Dumbarton Road and Raploch Road, under the shadow of Stirling Castle.

Backing of the public

Stewart Carruth, Interim Director, Sustrans Scotland, said: “I’d like to thank the people of Stirling who gave us their time to take part in the Walking and Cycling Index.  Walking and wheeling should be the most accessible and desirable form of transport. It is of huge importance to people, especially during the current cost of living crisis and the climate emergency.

“The evidence is clear – Stirling residents want the option to walk and wheel to where they need to get to and want to see improvements in walking and cycling infrastructure that make their journeys easier. Stirling Council can rest assured that they have the backing of the public to build on the work they have already started to make it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle to get around.”

More than 24,000 people were asked by Sustrans (1,442 people in Stirling and 9,681 people in Scotland) as part of the biennial Walking and Cycling Index, formerly known as Bike Like. The data from 18 cities and areas across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland is representative of a total population of over 13 million people.

Read the Walking and Cycling Index UK and Stirling city report here.

Further info and picture details: 

* Wheeling does not mean cycling but refers to the use of wheelchairs (manual and electric) and mobility scooters, to include those using the same environment but who may not identify with walking.

Last year people in Walking and Cycling Index areas walked, wheeled, or cycled around 6.1 billion miles, or 667 times around the world every day. And every year walking and cycling in these places prevents 24,576 serious long-term health conditions, 5,252 early deaths, takes over 2.6 million cars of the road, adds almost £6.5 billion to local economies, and saves around 440,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The 17 UK Walking and Cycling Index urban areas are: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Greater Cambridge, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Perth, Southampton City Region, Stirling, Tower Hamlets, Tyneside, and the West Midlands.Due to different methodology, Dublin Metropolitan Area data is included in a separate report.

Pictured near Back O'Hill Road, Raploch, are: Cllr Jen Preston (far left), Officers from Stirling Council's Climate Change and Sustainability Team, Davina Bright from Sustrans (fourth from left); representatives from Hillhouse Group and Ironside Farrar Ltd, Contractor and Lead Design Consultant, respectively, for the Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling project; and local community representatives.