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Walking, cycling and scooting

Just over half of primary school pupils travel actively to school in West Lothian - that is, walking, cycling and scooting. This page provides schools with information on how to promote active travel.

Active Travel Plan for West Lothian

Active travel is primarily defined as making journeys by walking, cycling and scooting. It can also include horse-riding (and even running and non-motorised water-based transport.) It is an approach to travel and transport that focuses on physical activity as opposed to motorised means.

West Lothian Council has developed and adopted an Active Travel Plan for West Lothian, "Making Active Connections". You can find  the full plan and a handy summary guide at .  


Bikeability Scotland

Bikeability Scotland is a cycle training scheme designed to give children the skills and confidence they need both to cycle safely on the roads, and to encourage them to carry on cycling into adulthood. For more information on the scheme, head to Bikeability Scotland.

The delivery of Bikeability to pupils in schools depends on staff, carers and local volunteers. On behalf of Cycling Scotland, the Low Port Centre provides free, one-day Cycle Training Assistant courses to those who are committed to help deliver cycle training in West Lothian schools. This course allows the trainer to deliver Bikeability Levels 1 and 2, typically aimed at primary school pupils. A four-day course, Cycle Trainer, is also available to those who wish to teach Bikeability Level 3 (typically for secondary school pupils).

Scheduled courses are listed at Local cycle training courses. For more information on Bikeability and Low Port Centre cycle training courses, contact the Low Port Centre on 01506 775390 or lowport@westlothianleisure.com, and visit Low Port Centre.


Mapping and route planning

Using Transport Scotland funding via our Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme, the council has commissioned walkit.com for West Lothian towns. This is an urban walking route planner, which anyone can use to find a walking route between two points (including the journey to school). A step-free version of routes is also available, which might assist those with mobility difficulties or additional support needs. Walkit.com covers Livingston, Whitburn, Armadale, Bathgate & Blackburn, Linlithgow, Broxburn & Uphall. Head to walkit.com.

For other information on how to find maps and cycling journey planners for active journeys within West Lothian, head to .


Cycle and Scooter parking at schools

Annual funding for cycle and scooter parking at schools is available from Sustrans, and is usually match funded (50%) by the council (Roads and Transportation). More information is available at Sustrans funding for schools.

The kind of evidence you will need to supply in any funding application includes;

  • Existence of a School Travel Plan or evidence that you are working on one and related activities.
  • A commitment to taking part in the annual Hands Up Survey.
  • Participation in Bikeability training.
  • Demand for scooter or cycling parking - this can include photos of existing cycle parking over-subscribed, cycles chained to railings in the absence of cycle parking, surveys of pupils / parents showing demand for cycle parking.
  • An idea of how much cycle or scooter parking you would like, and where it could be located.

Cycle Friendly Schools

Cycling Scotland runs a Cycle Friendly School award programme. Their purpose is to help you promote cycling locally and our schools more cycle-friendly. Springfield Primary School in Linlithgow became the first West Lothian school to achieve the Cycle Friendly School Award in May 2015 and since then a further 5 primary schools have obtained the award. The scheme is points-based, and a Cycling Scotland staff member will visit the school to assess facilities such as cycle parking, the school travel plan, changing facilities, Bikeability amongst others.

It's a friendly and  easy process, and ultimately aimed at helping the school promote cycling, walking and scooting to pupils and carers. For more information on the Cycle Friendly School awards for primary and secondary schools, visit Cycle Friendly School award.


Events and campaigns

There are many events and campaigns which your school can take part in during the school year to help promote walking, cycling and scooting to school. These include:

  •  The Big Pedal
  •  Sustrans Bike to School Week
  •  Living Streets Walk to School
  •  Give Everyone Cycle Space. West Lothian Council took part in the national campaign, Give Everyone Cycle Space, for the first time in 2015. You can read about it here  - . During the campaign, several schools took part in led cycle rides - James Young High School, Dedridge Primary School, Bankton Primary School and Williamston Primary School. Williamston P6s even won the national cycle to school competition as part of the campaign! 

The Big Shift

Sustrans Big Shift is a free to access online challenge designed to motivate the school community to travel more actively.

The challenge will set you targets based on how pupils currently travel to school. Make a Small Step, Big Stride or Giant Leap to increasing active travel and receive recognition for your achievements.

To sign up at any time, head to Sustrans Big Shift.

Sustrans offer a guide to increasing active travel levels at your school within 6 weeks. Head to Increasing active travel to school for more info and to download the pack.