Research Info
  • Title: Investigating Mountain Biking's Potential to Lower Emmisions as Part of a Strategy to Encourage Active Travel
  • Researcher Name(s): Daniel Curry
  • Email:


Climate change and carbon targets are high on the political agenda in Scotland, whilst transport is the only sector where emissions are still rising year upon year. Encouraging a switch from cars to cycling is a strategy that can concertedly combat physical inactivity, pollution and climate change, and has therefore become an attractive transport policy option. In 2010 the Scottish Government published the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, which detailed a route-map to achieving a national target of 10% of journeys to be undertaken by bicycle by 2020. By principally improving on-road facilities and creating a safer and more user-friendly cycling environment, it projects that a considerable proportion of people will be encouraged to use bikes. However, a body of literature suggests that there are significant additional barriers to be overcome before the majority of people make such a behavioural change. This document is a summary of a masters dissertation which explored mountain biking’s potential to overcome such barriers to cycling as a form of transport, and to incorporate offroad cycling as part of a strategy to address climate change.

Specific Research Objectives

  • To investigate if there is spillover in pro-environmental behaviour from mountain biking to utility cycling.
  • To establish if there are practical lower carbon solutions to access purpose-built trail centres than the low occupancy personal motor vehicles which predominate at present.
  • To assess the willingness of mountain bikers to alter their behaviour when travelling to and from purpose-built trail centres, and identify possible barriers to doing so.

Download the Executive Summary and/or Full Report