With the bank holiday approaching, Scots are gearing up for outdoor festivities. However, a recent poll indicates that enhanced local pathways could significantly increase their participation in walking, running, cycling, and wheeling, with 70% of adults showing interest in more active travel options.

The survey, which found that 73% would more frequently choose active travel if pathways were improved, was conducted on behalf of Make Ways. This pioneering project by Slow Ways aims to map out the demand for new and enhanced pathways across Scotland.

Chief Exploration Officer Dan Raven-Ellison shed light on the barriers to outdoor activities: “So many of us would love to walk or wheel places, but we find ourselves blocked by dangerous roads, fences, overgrowth and other barriers. Even if there is a good way to go – many of us simply don’t know it’s there.”

He also spoke on the wide-ranging benefits of better pathways: “Having more and better paths will benefit us all in so many ways. Getting to places under our own steam can improve our health, wellbeing, happiness, relationships and environment.”

The goal of Make Ways is to create an extensive map that highlights existing pathways, identifies problematic areas, and pinpoints where new pathways are needed.

Dan Raven-Ellison elaborated on the project’s community-driven approach: “Make Ways is a citizen project. Making wishes on the map will not automatically lead to them being granted, but we hope the project will generate local and national conversations that lead to more people walking and wheeling places.”

The research, conducted by YouGov, suggests that such a map could enhance the confidence of 56% of Scottish adults in opting for active travel methods. It also indicated that a third of adults would use the map to discover and share recommended routes.

All Scots are encouraged to participate in the Make Ways initiative by visiting www.makeways.org to map out beneficial routes, highlight areas in need of improvement, and propose locations for new pathways.