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Responsible behaviours

As more and more people walk and cycle for everyday journeys, it is important for everyone to show mutual respect and adopt responsible behaviours.

All users of our transport network should always follow the Highway Code, available at The Highway Code (opens new window).

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives you some of the best access rights in the world. You have the right to be on most land and inland water for recreation, education and going from place to place, providing you act responsibly. Be aware of your access rights and responsibilities in the Access Rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, in particular:

  • Take responsibility for your own actions.
  • Respect the interests of others.
  • Care for the environment.

There are many shared-use paths in West Lothian, where people on foot and on bikes (and on horseback) share the right to use the same space. Sustrans have provided a useful code of conduct for people cycling on shared use paths - visit Cycling code of conduct (opens new window). The Scottish Canals Towpath Code of Conduct (opens new window) offers advice for users of the Union Canal towpath - this path is shared by all non-motorised users and is part of the National Cycle Network.

West Lothian Council was a partner in Cycling Scotland's Give Everyone Cycle Space campaigns for 2015 and 2016. This campaign aims to create high levels of driver awareness around people on bikes to make Scotland's roads more cycle friendly. If you are a driver, give cycling space - as much as space as you would give a car. Visit Give Everyone Cycle Space (opens new window) for more details.

As per the The Highway Code - waiting and parking (opens new window)do not park on the pavement unless signs permit it. It is illegal to drive on or over a pavement (or footway) except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency. Footway parking acts as a barrier to movement by pedestrians, those with mobility difficulties and visual impairments, children on scooters and those with prams or buggies.

For information on where you can legally cycleTransport Scotland Cycling by Design - Legal Issues (opens new window) provides a comprehensive overview. In summary, you can cycle:

  • on the road
  • on any off-road path (unless other legislation covers specific paths to prohibit cycling) 
  • on designated cycleways which sometimes includes footways (pavements) formally predetermined for shared use
  • on Core Paths as per the West Lothian West Lothian's Core Paths Plan