How cycling works with LEZs to improve air quality

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Thursday 3 August 2023 marks Cycle to Work Day, a day to encourage people to leave their car at home and commute to work using their bike instead. Cycling and other forms of active travel such as walking and wheeling have so many benefits over taking the car, especially for shorter journeys.

Cycling to work gives you a chance to start your day off well, with some exercise and without the stress of congestion. For so many people, this can be their main chance to do some physical activity instead of simply hopping in the car – benefitting our environment and wellbeing at the same time.

Transport accounts for 28% of Scotland’s carbon emissions.* The highest contributor to emission levels is from our roads. With over half of the journeys in Scotland being under 5km, choosing to cycle for these shorter journeys will play a huge role in helping to reduce emissions.

There are financial benefits to cycling as well, with no need to worry about paying for parking, or fuel when you’re on a bike. You may want to check with your employer if you need help paying for a bike, as many employers now have programmes in place to support their staff in choosing active travel options. This includes Cycle to Work schemes where you can make significant savings on the cost of a new bike and equipment.

Choosing to cycle more for commuting and leisure purposes works alongside Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (LEZs) to help improve air quality and protect public health. LEZs were introduced to Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in May 2022. Glasgow’s LEZ was enforced from 1 June 2023, meaning that vehicles being driven in Glasgow city centre must meet minimum emission standards or the registered owner will get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

LEZs promote active travel as an alternative to using a car, so Cycle to Work Day is a great way for people to start cycling more in their daily lives

Commuting looks very different in 2023, so even if you work from home or don’t have an office to travel to, Cycle to Work Day can be a chance for you to get out on your bike for other short trips.

Get on your bike this Cycle to Work Day – on your marks, get set, go.

Read more about how the Scottish Government is helping to build an active nation:

* Information from