Cycling Edinburgh: Exploring the City on Two Wheels
Edinburgh is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the UK, with many residents and visitors using a bike as their preferred mode of transport. Both for pleasure and business purposes. In fact, Cycling Scotland report that 4.2% of Edinburgh residents used cycling as their chosen mode of transport last year, with 8.7% regularly cycling to work. It’s hoped that this figure will increase to 15% by 2020, as Edinburgh has made considerable investments for a more cycling-friendly infrastructure.
With its beautiful scenery and great network of off-road cycle routes and paths, Edinburgh is a fantastic city to explore on two wheels. Edinburgh has a wide variety of cycle paths, off-road tracks and shared pavements, giving cyclists the chance to travel around the city away from busy traffic.
Cycle routes in Edinburgh
The north of the city is home to the most off-road bike paths. These offer well-kept routes that are well lit and manageable gradients. Cycle along converted railway lines near the city centre, to the Port of Leith, Granton, or along to the pretty village of Cramond. Explore the cycle route from the Scottish Parliament, passing through a tunnel over 500m long, down to the seaside resort of Portobello.
Park Up at a City Cycle Rack
If you need to take a break, then there are bike stands across the city where you can securely lock up your bike. This is an ideal and safe way of enjoying a quick coffee or lunch stop before getting back in the saddle. In fact, it is now even easier to cycle around Edinburgh after 400 cycle racks were installed in the city least, and more set to be put in this year. It’s expected that 233 racks, equivalent to 466 bike parking spaces, will be put in on many key routes including Princes Street and Leith Walk.
Investment for the Future
In the 2015 Bike Life Edinburgh report, 74% of residents in the city said they wanted more money to be spent on cycling, in fact they said round £23 per person, per year should come from national and local transport budgets to improve cycling. Councillors in Edinburgh agree with residents and say they are committed to encouraging healthy and environmentally-friendly transport in the city. This year the council plans to spend around 9% on cycling in the city, with this set to rise next year to 10%.
Visiting Edinburgh and bringing your bike along may not be part of your plan but you can always consider hiring a cycle during your stay and making the most of the city on two wheels.