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Charity gives tips for walking, cycling and wheeling as Scotland transitions out of lockdown

People walking, cycling and wheeling in Scotland are being asked to Be Safe, Be Smart and Be Kind, in a new information sheet published by walking and cycling charity, Sustrans Scotland.

Complied in partnership with Public Health Scotland and Transport Scotland, and the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland, the information sheet provides a summary of things to consider during every day journeys and exercise.

The messaging asks the public to look after themselves and those in their care, stay in their local area, and plan ahead and be mindful of others when walking, wheeling and cycling – particularly disabled people, older people and more vulnerable groups.

It also advises for:

  • People to stay on the left on shared paths, and pass on the right.
  • Dog walkers to clean up after their dog and keep them on lead if there are other people around.
  • Cyclists to ring their bell, slow down and be prepared to stop when passing people.
  • To give additional consideration to disabled people who have less option to detour from the path.
  • Everyone to be aware that not all disabilities are visible, and to show the same consideration to all.

Sustrans Deputy CEO John Lauder said: “As Scotland progresses through the phases of lockdown, there will be more people out and about on foot, wheelchairs, by bike.  There may also be more people driving on our roads.

“Walking, cycling or wheeling have huge benefits for our physical and mental health as well as the environment. Physical distancing means that we will be using urban spaces differently and so being aware of each other is important so that we share space safely and sensibly.

“This information is there to gently remind people to be mindful of less abled or more vulnerable people.”

Linda Bamford, Convener of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) said: “We welcome this information notice to raise public awareness and in particular that it draws attention to the need to be considerate towards disabled people, including helping with physical distancing.

“Disabled people and older people are telling MACS of their concerns and fears when out and about as pavements and shared pathways are busier and they are finding it harder to keep a safe distance passing others and some people are passing them too fast and too close. If we are all considerate to each other’s needs, people will feel safer and go out more, which may reduce loneliness and social isolation and help with their health and wellbeing.”

The information sheet has been endorsed by Transport Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland as well as Cycling Scotland, Forth Environment Link, Living streets, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, Scottish Canals and Sustrans Scotland.

To access the information sheet, visit: www.sustrans.org.uk/about-us/our-work-in-scotland/walking-cycling-and-wheeling-during-covid-19-in-scotland/