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Cycling in Aberdeen

Information on how ACC is working to help cyclists travel to work, visit and enjoy cycling in Aberdeen.

Cycling is a form of transport that nearly everyone can take advantage of and is:

  • Enjoyable, Affordable and Fun
  • Healthy
  • Congestion-beating
  • Good for the environment

The Council has policies and targets that strive to meet 5 objectives -

  1. Maximise cycling's role for short journeys
  2. Develop safe, convenient, efficient infrastructure.
  3. Increase cycling for leisure, tourism and recreation.
  4. Integrate policies for cycling into Council strategies.
  5. Set policies and other means of meeting cycling targets.

This includes the development of a Cycle Network, reducing casualties, education and awareness raising campaigns, increasing cycling to school, safety audits, use of developer contributions towards cycling and encouraging employers to become cycle-friendly with staff incentives to cycle to work.

Aberdeen Cycle Map

The Aberdeen Cycle Map shows existing cycle facilities such as cycle lanes, as well as cycle shops, places to lock bikes, recommended quiet routes and recreational routes around the City:

The map is available in City libraries and most public Council buildings. If you are having problems finding a copy, please get in contact.

Cycle Parking in Aberdeen

On street cycle parking facilities have been provided throughout the City. Please get in contact if you have a suggestion for a new site.

Cycle Theft

Following these basic security rules can guard against losing your bike:

  • Use a good lock
  • Always lock your bike when leaving it, even for a few minutes
  • Secure your bike to proper cycle stands, or robust street furniture where this will not cause an obstruction
  • Lock your bike through both wheels and frame if possible
  • Take off accessories that can't be locked to your bike

If you are unfortunate enough to have your cycle stolen giving the police a good description can greatly increase your chances of getting it back. A good way of doing this is to keep a written record of the bike's details, so that, should the day come, you are not struggling to remember things like the make of tyres or the frame number. Grampian Police have produced a 'Bike Passport', simply fill it in, keep it in a safe place and should the worst happen you will have all the details to hand.

Cycling Safely

  • Remember that you have the same right to be on the road as any other user
  • Look around and signal clearly before any manoeuvre
  • Position yourself well on the road, ride clear of the kerb and parked cars, making you more visible
  • When is slow moving traffic and near junctions position yourself in the middle of the lane, so that people can see you and allows you to manoeuvre more easily
  • Assume that other road users won't indicate their manoeuvre, won't stop at red lights and even with eye contact you might not have been noticed
  • Trucks and large vehicles have a blind spot down both sides of their vehicle, that when they turn left might not see you, so keep a safe distance behind
  • Be considerate to pedestrians and other road users, don't cycle thru' red lights or pedestrian crossings,don't cycle on the pavements or the wrong way up 1-way streets (unless signed to do so)
  • Think ahead - be careful at junctions, bends, entrances, obstructions & avoid braking sharply in wet conditions
  • See and be seen - wear bright and reflective clothing and in poor visibility use your lights

Before setting off

  • Check for worn brake blocks or disc pads, bald or soft tyres, bent or missing spokes and the bell and lights are working
  • Lights should, at a minimum, a white front light and a red rear light plus a red rear reflector. Bikes made after 1990 should have reflectors in the pedals and on the wheels
  • You are allowed to flash, but you must flash at least 1 a second and no more than 4 times per second, whether with your rear red light or your white/green/orange front light

On Shared Paths

  • Give way to pedestrians and leave plenty of room for them to pass
  • Let pedestrians know you are there. Some people may be hard of hearing or have sight impairments
  • Be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary

Cycle Training

For Adults

Company Training - The Aberdeen Cycle Forum and Cyclists' Touring Club now offer cycle training courses for businesses or organisations within Aberdeen. If you would like to get training for you and your colleagues please contact Aberdeen Cycle Forum. (See Related Links)

Try Cycling - The Aberdeen Cycle Forum and the Cyclists' Touring Club also offer free guided cycle rides on a mixture of roads and cycle paths for individuals. The rides are led by experienced cycle leaders and are aimed at beginners or those who have not been in the saddle for a while. They normally take under 3 hours starting at 10am and meet:

  • On the first Sunday of the month by the pond in Duthie Park off Riverside Drive
  • On the second Sunday of the month at Hazlehead Park
  • On the third Sunday of the month at Seaton Park
  • On the fourth and occasional fifth Sundays at Duthie Park (See Related Links)

For Children

Training for primary schools is currently provided by Grampian Police. If you would like training for your primary school then please contact: Police Road Safety Office, Grampian Police, Queen Street, Aberdeen AB10 1ZA. (See Related Links)

Aberdeen Cycle Forum

ACF is a voluntary group encouraging and developing cycling within Aberdeen. The ACF aim to:

  • Promote cycling as part of a sustainable transport strategy for Aberdeen
  • Campaign for improved cycle facilities and a safer cycling environment in Aberdeen
  • Promote the benefits of cycling as enjoyable, healthy, cheap, efficient and non-polluting way of getting round Aberdeen

Powered Two Wheeled Vehicles (PTW) or Electric-Assist Bicycles

There are many people who may want and need a bit of electric assistance, whether through inclination, age or physical frailty, or a need to ride quickly to work without needing to shower and change.

Electric bikes have a small electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery to help propel machine and rider. They can be good for hills, for hurrying to work without arriving hot and sweaty, and for carrying a lot of luggage. The motors are intended to assist pedaling, not to replace it. At present most models have a power-assisted range of about 20 miles. Many models feature removable batteries that can be easily recharged during the working day - assuming your workplace can provide a spare power socket.  

Electric cycles, like pedal-only cycles, are relatively light and slow-moving vehicles that pose little danger to pedestrians. Electric cycles cannot provide power over 25kph (or 15mph) and electric cycles are true pedal cycles under the law:

  • right to ride, i.e. no tests or licensing;
  • no need for specialist clothing;
  • train operators carry bicycles, enabling effective mixed mode travel;
  • right to use cycle and bus lanes.

In the UK, riders must be at least 14 years of age.

Electric cycles are classed as pedal cycles provided they conform to the pedelec definition (motor power output inversely related to speed, and power cut whenever the rider stops pedaling) and have a powered-assisted maximum speed no greater than 25kph (15mph, but you can pedal faster unassisted). They must also have average power output limited to 200W (250W for an electric tricycle or tandem) and weight limited to 40kg (60kg for a tricycle or tandem).

New Cycle Facilities

Aberdeen to Westhill Cycle Path

The existing facility from Westhill to Kingswells is located on the side of the A944. ACC has gradually been upgrading sections of the route as funds become available. The project has been split into 5 phases. Both recreational and commuter cyclists can now cycle from Kingswells to Hazlehead Park completely off-road.

Riverside Drive

In order to fully utilise the River Dee as a formal walking and cycling route ACC has been investigating the possibility of a high quality path linking Victoria Bridge in Torry to the Robert Gordon University Campus in Garthdee. This will provide a traffic free path linking the National Cycle Network with Duthie Park, the Deeside Railway Line, Garthdee retail park and the University. The first section from Queen Elizabeth Bridge to King George VI Bridge is already complete.

Bridge of Don to Dyce

As part of the redevelopment of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 1 (North) through Aberdeen a feasibility study was commissioned to look at possible options. The preferred solution is a new off-road riverside cycle route linking the Formartine and Buchan Way in Dyce to Old Aberdeen via new paths and a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the River. This will then provide:

  • A safe commuter route for cyclists
  • A local recreational route with points of access to the countryside and links between the communities of Dyce, Bucksburn, Danestone, Bridge of Don, Tillydrone and Seaton
  • A tourist route for visitors to the area
  • A DDA compliant route that is accessible for all

Two sections of the route have now been installed between Tillydrone and Danestone, and the Formartine and Buchan Way and Stoneywood Mills. Additional phases of the 16km route will come forward as funding allows.

Anderson Drive

As part of the Locking in the Benefits Study for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), Anderson Drive was identified as one of three priority corridors from which major traffic reduction benefits could be expected. ACC has therefore been investigating the potential for establishing a cycle route along the length of Anderson Drive.

Kingswells to Bucksburn Path

The Neighbourhood Community Action Plans for both Kingswells and Bucksburn, developed following extensive public consultation, identified a need for better walking and particularly, cycling links between the two communities. Two route corridors emerged from the initial ten as the preferred options and these were taken forward for wider public consultation. Upgrades to the path of the preferred option are now taking place and improvements will continue as funding allows.

King Street

A number of requests have come from cyclists over the past few years for improving the route from the city centre to the Bridge of Don along King Street. On-road cycle lanes have now been installed along much of the length of King Street where road width allows. ACC is now investigating the possibility of a facility north of the Bridge.


  • Transport Strategy Team
    Planning and Sustainable Development
    Aberdeen City Council
    Business Hub 4
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 523327