Individual travel choices
The travel choices we make are important for our health, our household finances, our economy and our environment. When we can, choosing to walk, cycle, take public transport, car-share and drive low-emission vehicles can all make a big difference.
Walking and cycling
Walking and cycling are the cheapest, healthiest and most environmentally-friendly ways of travelling. Particularly in towns, they are also often the quickest way of getting around. For more information on active travel information and contacts, please visit the Walking and Cycling web page.
West Lothian is very well served by rail and the reopening of the Airdrie to Bathgate line in 2011 has made train travel even more attractive. In addition, there are many local bus services that connect the communities in the district and serve the rural hinterland.
To plan your public transport journey, call 0871 200 22 33 or head to Traveline Scotland - Timetables and use the journey planner feature. You can also search for bus timetables on Traveline Scotland, including on-demand West Lothian Taxibus services. Real time information on selected bus services due at your stop is available online or via a mobile app at BustrackerSEStran. Rail journey information is available online from National Rail Enquiries or by calling 03457 48 49 50.
For more information on public transport in West Lothian generally, please visit the Public Transport web pages.
Car sharing and car-free living
Car sharing is a friendly and economic way of travelling where public transport is not the most practicable option. It is easy too! Simply register for free with TripShare West Lothian. For more information on car sharing, please visit the Car Sharing Scheme web page.
The true costs of car ownership may be higher than you think, particularly when the wider costs to society and the environment are taken into account. This Carplus car costs calculator estimates how much your car is costing you.
Car clubs, along with car sharing, can support a car-free or 'car-lite' lifestyle. There are several car clubs in close proximity to West Lothian. Find your nearest car club vehicle via Carplus. Signing up to a car club can give you access to a car (or a second vehicle) when you most need it.
Low emission vehicles
Use of electric or plug-in vehicles is growing across Scotland and West Lothian. Grants and subsidies are available to help with the cost, both for vehicles and charging infrastructure. For more details, visit Energy Savings Trust Electric Vehicles. For a map of electric vehicle charging points in West Lothian, search by location on Charge Your Car.
Smarter choices for individuals - 10 things you can try.......
Do you want to make some smarter transport choices which benefit you, your community and your environment, but don't know where to start? Here's five suggestions:
- Retrieve those old bicycles from your garage and take them to a local Council recycling centre. They will either be refurbished for future use or parts will be recycled through our Community Payback bike recycling project. Visit our Walking and Cycling page for more info.
- Around 6 in 10 journeys made in West Lothian are less than 3 miles. The Scottish Government has a vision for Active Travel where trips up to 5 miles are routinely made by bike, and trips up to 2 miles on foot. Is there a short journey you can make on foot or by bike instead of the car? Plan your cycle route at CycleStreets West Lothian and your walking route at walkit.com.
- Around 86% of primary school children in West Lothian live less than a mile from their school. Support your child to make their journey to school on foot, by bike or by scooter. Visit our Smarter travel to school page for information.
- Don't park on the pavement unless signs permit it. It is illegal to drive onto the pavement. Pavement parking hinders the movement of pedestrians generally, and in particular those with visual impairments and mobility difficulties, children on scooters, people with prams or pushchairs. See section 244 of the The Highway Code - waiting and parking.
- Give car sharing a try. Even once a week can make a difference to your household costs and the environment. Visit the Car Sharing Scheme page for details of how to sign up to West Lothian's Tripshare scheme.
Still interested? Here's five more:
- Consider taking public transport to work, even just once a week. It might save you money and can be less stressful than driving. Plan your journey in advance with Traveline Scotland - Timetables and check when your bus is due at BustrackerSEStran.
- Help your local school or youth group deliver Bikeability cycle training to children. The Cycle Training Assistant course takes one day and is free if you are committed to delivering Bikeability. You can find details of forthcoming courses at Local cycle training courses.
- Want a gentle and sociable way to build up your fitness and feel well? Join a led walk or cycle ride through Put Your West Foot Forward. Details of forthcoming walks and an online Physical Activity Atlas showing timed routes are available at Physical Activity.
- Need a new bike? Ask your employer if they participate in a cycle to work scheme, where you can pay for a new bike in instalments and make substantial savings before tax.
- Switch off your engine when stationary. Smoke and fumes that come from vehicle exhausts are harmful to health, particularly those with asthma, and create an unpleasant environment for pedestrians. Every 10 minutes of vehicle idling costs at least one-tenth of a litre in wasted fuel, and each litre of fuel generates 2.4kg of greenhouse gas CO2. For more details visit Vehicle Emissions.