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Use sustainable transport this winter

couple meet at waverley train station in edinburgh. they opted for sustainable winter transport this festive season.

Winter is here and often the colder, wetter and darker conditions can present some extra challenges to how we get around. You might need to do some extra prep at this time of year – but there are still plenty of ways you can save money on winter transport and cut your emissions at the same time.

Remember: cutting down your car use by 25% can save you £290 per year on fuel costs. There are still plenty of ways you can do this over the winter. Here are some tips and resources to help you plan ahead.

Winter walking, wheeling and cycling

The colder and wetter weather can make walking seem more daunting – but opting to travel on foot is a great way to boost your mental and physical health over winter. Paths for All have some great resources to help you make the most of your winter walks. Getting out and about is a great way to connect with nature and break up those long work days. Did you know? Walking regularly can reduce the risk of depression by 30%, as well as help manage stress and improve sleep.

Cycling is also an excellent way to save on transport costs and get regular activity in the winter. If you’re struggling to get motivated try out some of the tips in this article from Sustrans. The exercise from pedalling will help you stay warm but you might need to layer up for your cycle or ebike journeys. Cycling UK has some great tips on staying warm.

You should also make sure your bike or cycle is well maintained during winter. The wet weather has more of an impact on your bike so you should check it regularly. Cycling Scotland has a great video on how to perform this simple check. In terms of special maintenance for winter, check out this Sustrans article for a rundown on how to prepare. Winter is also a great time to get your cycle services whilst bike shops are quieter. You may even be eligible for funding to help with the costs through Cycling UK’s Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme

Winter public transport

Public transport isn’t just better for the environment than driving – it can be more convenient when getting around in the winter and eases congestion on road networks that are often under more pressure. You don’t have to worry about navigating winter conditions, disruptions or maintenance – you can just sit back and relax. You also won’t need to worry about how you’re getting home if you’re enjoying a drink at festive events.

Prepare for disruptions in advance with Traveline Scotland. They keep their website and app up to date with festive timetables, weather disruption and other changes to regular timetables.

Electric vehicles as winter transport

For the most part electric vehicle drivers should take the same precautions as other road users.

Remember, electric vehicles are completely suitable for winter driving. Scandinavian countries have very high numbers of electric vehicle users. With a little planning, you can reduce the impacts of winter weather on your electric vehicle. For example, you can keep warm in an electric vehicle without impacting your range by pre-heating while plugged in. ChargePlace Scotland has more tips for electric vehicle drivers on their website.

Want some help decarbonising your transport options this winter? We offer a number of options. Our interest-free ebike loan can be used for 2x ebikes, 1x family cargo bike or 1x adapted cycle. We also offer an interest-free loan for purchasing a used electric vehicle – and in turn you may be eligible for chargepoint funding. Those within a 20km radius of a low emission zone may be eligible for £2000 to dispose of a non-compliant vehicle, as well as £1000 for two household members to spend on sustainable transport options including an ebike, cycle maintenance and multi-journey public transport tickets.