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Aberdeen versus Inverness: Which city is best for walking and cycling?

A family enjoying a cycle route in the Highlands.
A family enjoying a cycle instead of the car. Picture by Julie Howden, Sustrans Scotland.

Aberdeen and Inverness have taken part in the biggest ever survey for walking and cycling in the UK.

The recently published survey involved 18 urban areas across the UK, including seven in Scotland.

The charity Sustrans published the research as part of their goal of getting more people to ditch the car.

Around 1,300 people in both Aberdeen and Inverness were asked to take part and give their thoughts on all sorts of issues relating to walking and cycling.

Aberdeen has recently undergone extensive change to the city centre to promote cycling.

Inverness has also been trying its best to promote cycling by changing road layouts to help them get about.

Each city has reported on the progress made towards making walking and cycling a more attractive way to commute.

The statistics produced comes from the year 2021. In addition to the survey, the report uses locally provided council data and modeling.

Here are some interesting things that popped up

  • Residents who travel by the following modes of transport five or more days a week:

Aberdeen: Walking 57%, Driving 41%, Public transport 6%, Cycling 4%.

Inverness: Walking 49%, Driving 48%, Public transport 3%, Cycling 9%.

  • Proportion of residents who cycle at least once a week:

Aberdeen: Men 33%, Women 20%

Inverness: Men 20%, Women 10%

  • Proportion of residents who walk or wheel at least five days a week:

Aberdeen: 59% of LGBQ+ people, 58% of heterosexual people

Inverness: 72% of LGBQ+ people, 47% of heterosexual people

  • Proportion of residents who walk or wheel at least five days a week:

Aberdeen: 52% of disabled people, 59% of non-disabled people

Inverness: 42% of disabled people, 52% of non-disabled people

Read the full reports published by Sustrans for Aberdeen and Inverness here. Or read the full methodology report here.

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