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Active nation commissioner Lee Craigie joins active travel organisations including Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Paths for All, Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Sustrans Scotland and Scottish Cycling to urge people in the Highlands to keep walking, wheeling and cycling through coronavirus lockdown and beyond


By Ian Duncan

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Lee Craigie cycling part of the Loch Ness Etape circuit.
Lee Craigie cycling part of the Loch Ness Etape circuit.

During the first Covid-19 lockdown there was an increase in the number of people walking, wheeling, cycling and exploring what’s on our doorsteps.

This increase in movement has a variety of benefits from mental health and wellbeing, to family bonding, to supporting local businesses and connecting with the community.

As levels of car use are on the rise and cold weather continues, Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Paths for All, Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Sustrans Scotland and Scottish Cycling want to keep the momentum going and encourage people to keep up the good habits through this lockdown and beyond.

The shared digital campaign, #WheelsinMotion, will encourage more people to leave the car at home in favour of walking, wheeling and cycling for essential journeys and exercise, helping Scotland to become a truly #ActiveNation.

Getting out and about locally is positive for our wellbeing and can be a fun opportunity for families to enjoy time together. It can also support local businesses and give our sense of community a boost. What’s more, walking, wheeling and cycling is better for our planet, and helps free up space on public transport for those who need it most.

The campaign will showcase, tips, resources and case studies with a variety of focuses, including – keeping active while working from home, introducing walking, wheeling and cycling into the home-schooling timetable, and exploring your local area on foot, bike or wheels.

Organisers want everyone to be able to walk, wheel and cycle safely for essential journeys and exercise, in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

The group of active travel organisations along with the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland will be promoting their guidance to Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Kind when walking, wheeling and cycling during Covid-19 restrictions.

Lee Craigie.
Lee Craigie.

Lee Craigie, the active nation commissioner, said: “During the current restrictions it’s more important than ever to be outside and active to help boost our mood, make the most of the daylight and connect with our neighbourhoods.

“That means making the time to incorporate the daily pleasures of walking, wheeling and cycling into your day - whether it be a walk or wheel in your lunch hour, a cycle to an essential shop, or a scoot to the park with the kids.

“One silver-lining to this challenging time would be if we used it as a period of reflection to consider the benefits of choosing healthier, greener, mood-boosting modes of transport for our everyday journeys.”

• To find out more visit here.


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