Cycling in Aberdeen
Cycling is a form of transport that nearly everyone can take advantage of and is:
- Enjoyable, affordable and fun
- Good for the environment
The Council has policies and targets that strive to meet 5 objectives:
- Maximise cycling's role for short journeys.
- Develop safe, convenient, efficient infrastructure.
- Increase cycling for leisure, tourism and recreation.
- Integrate policies for cycling into Council strategies.
- 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.
The Aberdeen Cycle Map shows facilities such as cycle lanes, cycle shops, places to lock bikes, recommended quiet routes and recreational routes around the city:
The map is available in libraries and most public Council buildings. If you are having problems finding a copy, please get in touch.
On street cycle parking facilities have been provided throughout the city. Please get in touch if you have a suggestion for a new site.
Guard against losing your bike by following these basic security rules:
- 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 bike stolen, if you can give the police a good description it could improve your chances of getting it back. Keep a written record of the bike's details, so that you can easily remember things like the make of tyres or the frame number. Police Scotland have more information about how to keep your bike secure.
- 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 in slow moving traffic and near junctions position yourself in the middle of the lane, so that people can see you and you can 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, and 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 through red lights or pedestrian crossings, don't cycle on the pavements or the wrong way up one-way streets (unless signed to do so).
- Think ahead - be careful at junctions, bends, entrances, and obstructions and 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 once 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.
The Cyclists' Touring Club, affiliated to Cycling UK, offers free guided cycle rides on a mixture of roads and cycle paths. 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. Rides start at 10am from Duthie Park, Seaton Park or Hazlehead Park and normally take less than 3 hours. See more information and dates.
Cycle training for children
The ebike share scheme was introduced to Aberdeen in November 2022. It is privately operated but open to anyone aged 16 or over who can ride a bike.
To use these ebikes you need to:
- Download the Big Issue eBikes #Biking for Good mobile App (from either the Apps Store or Google Play),
- Register with your details,
- Open a wallet to pay for your rentals,
- Locate your preferred ebike
- Present your mobile to the QR code on the ebike
- Start your rental,
- Park within one of the parking zones indicated on the plan in the App to finish the rental
More details are available within the App
Also within the App you can find out where the ebikes are and how much battery charge/kms they have left before you decide on which one to use. It also shows where all the available parking zones are for picking up and dropping off the ebike so you can plan your journey.
Big Issue eBikes encourages users to wear a helmet when renting their eBikes. Although it is not mandatory, it is the responsibility of users to comply with the safety advice for this scheme.
There are currently over 200 ebikes deployed in the scheme with a target of 450 and scope to further expand these as the scheme grows.
It is hoped that this scheme will increase the number of people already choosing to travel actively by walking, wheeling and cycling. Since the scheme has been launched there has been a noticeable increase in regular users suggesting that registered users are using the ebikes more often and demonstrating the public’s willingness to embrace this type of sustainable travel.
You can find out more at: Big Issue Bikes Public Rental Scheme
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.
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 - 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).
Aberdeen to Westhill cycle path
The existing facility from Westhill to Kingswells is located on the side of the A944. The Council 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.
In order to fully use the River Dee as a formal walking and cycling route the Council 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 the Bridge of Dee 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.
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. The Council 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.
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. The path is now complete to the Ellon Road at Murcar.
Aberdeen City Council have Cycle Locker Hire at the following locations:
- Bridge of Don Park & Ride (6 Lockers)
- Craibstone Park & Ride (8 Lockers)
- Dyce Railway Station (35 Lockers)
- Kingswell Park & Ride (8 Lockers)
Hiring a locker will cost £33 plus a deposit of £33. Your deposit will be refunded at the end of you 12 month hire period providing there is no damage to the locker.
If you wish to renew your hire for a further 12 months this will cost £33.
Please complete an enquiry form and read our terms and conditions before you pay for a locker.
If you are allocated a locker, we will ask you to approve our Terms and Conditions which include details of renewals, returns and cancellations.
Please complete and return your enquiry form and send to email@example.com
Payments can be made via our Online Payment Portal. Select ‘cycle locker hire’ from the drop-down menu to make your payment/s.