Search site

Smarter travel calendar and some inspiration

There's a lot happening on smarter travel in West Lothian, and many schools are promoting sustainable and active travel choices in innovative ways. These pages provide the latest news on forthcoming events, promotions and projects, and some inspiration from local schools.

Smarter travel to school - dates for your diary

The Big Pedal, 20-31 March 2017

The Big Pedal runs from 20th to 31st March 2017. An annual inter-school competition, schools compete on each day of the challenge to see who can record the greatest number of pupils, staff and parents cycling or scooting to school. In past years, several West Lothian schools have taken part in the challenge - you can read their story at . The Big Pedal is free to enter and a great way to raise the profile of active travel in your school, help resolve parking issues and promote physical activity, so head to the website and sign up if you are interested.

If you are planning on taking part, please let karen.mccubbin@westlothian.org.uk know to help with knowledge sharing (but this is not obligatory!).

Walk to School Week and National Walking Month, May 2017

Walk to School Week in 2017 will take place from 15th to 19th May. Promoted by Living Streets as part of their National Walking Month (Living Streets), schools can take part in a 5 day Healthy Walking Challenge. Resources are available to purchase via the Living Streets website.

Bike Week and Cycle to Work Day

Cycle to Work Day ran on 14th September in 2016 whilst Bike Week ran from 11th to 19th June 2016. These events aim to encourage everyone to cycle and organise local events, and run annually.  

Love to Ride West Lothian Cycle Challenge - Ride to work week, 13-19 March 2017

As part of the council's Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme, a West Lothian element of the National Cycle Challenge happened in September 2016. The challenge ran all month, and aimed to encourage people to get back on their bikes with as little as 10minutes of cycling. Workplace teams and individuals based in West Lothian took part, including several schools staff and senior pupil teams, and some great prizes were won. A ride to work week is taking place in 13th-19th March 2017  Head to Love to Ride Central Scotland register for free and take part. 


Projects and some inspiration

Play on Pedals

The council has successfully received funding from Cycling Scotland for a Play on Pedals project. Led by Dave Ogilvie from the Low Port Centre, this project will be purchasing a number of balance bikes and small bikes. It is hoped these bikes will be used by schools and nurseries around West Lothian to encourage cycling confidence amongst young children. If you would like to learn more about the project and get involved, contact Dave.Ogilvie@westlothian.gov.uk.

Give everyone cycle space

West Lothian Council took part in Cycling Scotland's Give Everyone Cycle Space campaign again in 2016. In 2015, posters and billboards were displayed throughout West Lothian promoting the campaign which targets vehicle drivers primarily. It aims to raise awareness of the need to give cyclists as much space as a car when passing. We also led a day of cycle rides in a cluster of primary schools around James Young High School in Livingston. Williamston Primary School won the national cycle to school competition as part of the campaign. For 2016, we've opted for the promotional option although we may organise some led rides within school clusters (subject to the availability of staff resources). The campaign launched in the week commencing 9th May 2016 with adverts on billboards, buses, on TV and radio.

The core message can be promoted within your school's community all year round - that is, give everyone cycle space on the road, as much space as you would give a car.

Walk once a week (WoW)

A number of primary schools are taking part in Living Street's Living Streets Walk to School WoW) campaign in 2016/17. This provides access to a travel tracker where schools can compete with schools across the whole of the UK to log frequent active journeys to school. If your school is interested in taking part in this campaign, please contact karen.mccubbin@westlothian.org.uk.

Cycle Friendly School Awards

To date, West Lothian has seen six Cycle Friendly School Awards - Springfield and Meldrum Primary Schools in 2015, Williamston, Simpson, Livingston Village and Linlithgow Bridge Primary Schools in 2016. December 2016 saw the first Cycle Friendly Secondary School awards in West Lothian, at Armadale Academy and James Young High School. A number of other schools are currently going through the application process so watch this space!

If you are interested in obtaining this award for your school, head to Cycle Friendly School award and register your school. The application process is relatively straightforward, and many schools may already be eligible based on the work they are already doing. The award is based on points scored against a number of criteria, and provides a great opportunity to raise awareness of walking and cycling to school with pupils, parents and staff. Delivering Bikeability Level 2 cycle training is a key aspect of the award, as is cycle parking - other criteria include having a School Travel Plan and taking part in active travel initiatives (e.g. The Big Pedal).

Step Count Challenge

Using Transport Scotland funding via our Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme, the council funded a West Lothian Step Count Challenge in March 2016. Up to 400 people took part across almost 80 workplace teams, including many schools (staff). Using pedometers, participants logged their daily steps / cycles / swims over a four week period. Prizes were on offer for the best active journey stories, photos and captions, and for simply taking part! Staff from primary and secondary schools across West Lothian took part in the challenge, and it is a great way to promote sustainable and active journeys amongst staff. If you missed out on a place in April, the national Step Count Challenge runs annually and places are only £5 per person plus £5 per pedometer if you need one - for more details, visit Step Count Challenge.