Alt text
Alt text

Clyde Greenways

Making cycling, walking and wheeling an attractive option for all

Why Greenways?

The impacts of climate change are becoming more and more evident. In 2019 the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency and set a net-zero emissions target for 2045. Road transport accounts for around 40% of emissions in Glasgow City Region. We are also facing major physical health and mental well-being challenges which we know regular exercise can help address. We therefore need to radically change the way we travel by encouraging walking, cycling and wheeling, especially for shorter trips.

Alt text

Recreation and active travel

In recent years there has been a focus on improving on-road cycling for active travel. While this is very welcome, even segregated on-road cycling isn’t for everyone and many would prefer a quieter more relaxing commuting experience, even if it is slightly longer.

Greenways, using parks, greenspaces and green corridors, provide an attractive and complimentary alternative as part of a daily routine or for recreation.

The scale of the challenge

Taking Glasgow as an example, 45% of households don’t own a car and 73% don’t have a bike meaning a significant proportion of the population have to find other ways to get about. Many of the rest also choose not to drive. However, 30% of car journeys in Glasgow are less than 1km meaning they should be easily walkable or cyclable. So why aren’t they? Part of it is cultural and we’ve become used to jumping in the car. Could it also be that walking and cycling (even segregated) isn’t that pleasant an experience for people?

Alt text

Cluttered pavements, proximity to vehicle fumes and noise and absence of vegetation may mean that walking, cycling and wheeling doesn’t seem like an attractive option for many. Our challenge is to create a network of good quality off-road routes, or Greenways, through parks and greenspaces, along disused railways, rivers and canals, as well as using Green Infrastructure to make unavoidable road sections more attractive and useable. We estimate this means around 200 miles of new Greenways required across the City Region to create a comprehensive strategic network.

What is Clyde Greenways?

In 2019 the GCV Green Network launched its Blueprint which set out a framework for delivery of the Green Network across Glasgow City Region. The Blueprint was based on two key components: an Access Network for people and a Habitat Network for wildlife.

Clyde Greenways differs from the other Blueprint initiatives in that there are already many organisations working on active travel across the region. Rather than create a new initiative, the GCVGN will work with and support those organisations in planning for and delivery of active travel infrastructure to ensure Greenways are a key consideration and integral part of the network.

Funding is increasing year on year with a Scottish Government commitment to spend at least £320 million, or 10% of the total transport budget on active travel in the coming year. Ensuring Greenways are fully embedded in the emerging suite of plans and strategies will bring resources for delivery.

Alt text
Alt text

Where is Clyde Greenways?

Clyde Greenways will span the eight local authorities that make up Glasgow City Region, connecting people with the places they need to go, linking communities together and providing opportunities for recreation. It will weave through our urban areas using greenspace, green corridors and quiet streets, and spread out into the wider countryside via disused railway lines, river and canal paths and quiet rural roads.

Clyde Greenways has 3 elements


Reducing emissions and improving air quality by encouraging people out of cars, particularly for shorter, local journeys.


Making walking, cycling and wheeling an attractive option for everyday journeys around communities, encouraging healthier lifestyles and supporting mental well-being


Influencing and supporting the array of organisations involved in active travel planning and delivery to ensure Greenways are an integral part of the network.

Our ambitions

The ambitions of Clyde Greenways support Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Framework vision of “Scotland’s communities are shaped around people, with walking or cycling the most popular choice for shorter everyday journeys” and a number of objectives including:

  • Cutting carbon emissions and other pollution

  • Delivering liveable, more pleasant communities

  • Better health and safer travel for all

The City Region is Scotland’s largest urban area and home to a third of its population. Delivery of Clyde Greenways would make a significant contribution to the indicators supporting these objectives.

With 40% of Glasgow City Region emissions due to road transport, making emission free alternatives an attractive option, especially for shorter, local journeys, is a priority if we are to reach our Net Zero targets. Delivering Clyde Greenways would provide that attractive alternative.

Glasgow has recently initiated its Low Emission Zone for the City Centre in recognition of the poor air quality people living and working there experienced. More generally, walking and cycling adjacent to traffic means exposure to the range of pollutants vehicles emit. Greenways offer active travel options that are pollutant and traffic noise free.

Liveable places are a central pillar of new Scottish planning policy. People should be able to meet the majority of their daily needs, such as shops, schools, greenspace and health care within a 20 minute walk or cycle of their home. Just having these services and facilities close by doesn’t mean people will choose to walk or cycle to them. The routes linking them have to be useable and an attractive option. Greenways provide that attractive option, delivering the associated health and well-being benefits of more active lifestyles.

Delivery of Clyde Greenways has two key strands, and collaboration with strategic active travel orgnaisations is critical to the success of both. Firstly, we will work with SPT and local authorities to ensure that Greenways are fully embedded in emerging regional and local strategies and considered an integral part of the overall network. We will then work with delivery partners and funders such as SUSTRANS to develop projects that create parts of the network that are currently missing or of poor quality.

View our other delivery projects

Restoring much of the Regions degraded peatland

Developing meadow and grassland projects.

Targeting key locations for wetland creation.

Aiming to plant 18 million trees by 2032

Restoring much of the Regions degraded peatland

Developing meadow and grassland projects.

Targeting key locations for wetland creation.

Aiming to plant 18 million trees by 2032

Alt text

Newsletter Signup

Learn more about GCV Green Network! You can be the first the hear about our latest news.

Designed & Built by Mucky Puddle