Cycling in West Lothian
Cycling is one of the most affordable, healthiest and environmentally-friendly ways of travelling. In towns and for short distances it is often also the quickest way of getting around. Whether for commuting, leisure or sport, cycling is an efficient and enjoyable activity that allows you to get from A to B quickly and cheaply, and get the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity at the same time. It is also suitable for all ages and abilities
STOP PRESS: NEW WEST LOTHIAN TOWN CYCLE MAPS
West Lothian Council and West Lothian on the Move have produced a new set of cycle maps to help you get around the main towns in the district by bike. The maps show cycle path and traffic-free shortcuts as well as quiet streets, which are recommended for cycling. By following the routes on the maps, you should get to most places in your town without having to mix with busy traffic.
The maps are available in .pdf format and can be found at the bottom of this page. Paper copies can be requested by contacting Jim Stewart (see left hand side for contact details).
The brand new 2012 edition of the Spokes maps for West Lothian is now available. In addition to an updated version of the district-wide map, the new edition includes a 1:10,000 map of the cycle routes in Livingston. The map can be bought directly from Spokes (see below for contact details) and most bike shops.
Most towns in West Lothian are ideal for cycling because they are fairly flat, compact and most places can be reached by bike in less than 10 minutes.
When you are out and about on your bike, please make sure you and other road users are safe by following some basic rules
Obey the rules of the road
- Always follow the Highway Code. Available at www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelandTransport/Highwaycode/index.htm (new window)
- Be courteous
- Remember that some people are hard of hearing or visually impaired. Don't assume everyone can see or hear you.
- Give way to pedestrians, wheelchair users and horse riders.
- Ring your bell or politely call out to alert other road users of your approach; acknowledge people who give way to you.
Care for the environment
- Try to reach the start of your journey by bike or public transport.
- Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code; in particular, respect crops, livestock and wildlife and take litter home.
Look after yourself
- Be alert to potential hazards and take extra care.
- Carry enough food and water, and a map.
- Keep your bike roadworthy; use lights in poor visibility (it's the law).
- Don?t use any hand-held device like a mobile phone whilst cycling.
- Consider wearing a helmet and bright clothing.
- Always lock your bike to an immovable object with a good-quality bike lock to prevent theft.
And last but not least, if you see any problems with roads and cycle tracks such as potholes, lighting defects, overhanging vegetation, obstructions, flooding etc., please report them to West Lothian Council Operational Services on 01506 280000 or visit www.westlothian.gov.uk/1523/1284/ (new window)
The benefits of cycling
Cycling has many of benefits, these include:-
Cycling for improved health and fitness
- Cycling regularly will improve your fitness and can help you live a long and healthy life.
- Riding a bike can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Three quarters of all personal journeys are less than 5 miles long - that's half an hour on a bike.
Switching your short journeys from car to bicycle will benefit your health and your community. You'll be helping to reduce noise and air pollution as well as traffic congestion.
Cycling to save money
If you want to save hundreds of pounds on your travel costs cycling can help you. Save yourself over £700 on public transport and over £1000 on car costs every year by switching to cycling. Cycling is the cheapest form of transport around!
Cycling for the environment
Cycling is pollution fee, noise free and congestion free.
Cycling for Transport
- Cycling is the fastest mode of urban transport, a fact that has been proved time and time again.
- Cycling is also the best mode of transport for also getting your recommended 30 minutes a day light exercise.
- Cycling brings train and bus stations up to 2 miles away within easy reach, no parking charges, and no fighting for a place.
We at the council are more than happy to advise you on all things cycling but you may want to check the below resources as well.
Plan your journey
You can use the Cyclestreets website to plan your bike trip. It allows you to enter your origin and destination and shows the best route on a map.
Or try the Bikely website. The site allows you to plot routes, showing distances and ascent/descent.
There are also a number of apps for i-phone and Andoid smart phones that help you to plan your journey.
Examples are the Bike Hub and the Cyclestreet apps, available from I-tunes and the Android market place.
Sport cycling and local clubs
Other cycling organisations