Briefing – Code of conduct for busier off-road routes and parks

Below is a briefing from the Council on a citywide code of conduct campaign targeting busier off-road routes and parks. In my Ward applies to many places, but particularly the Water of Leith Walkway, Colinton Mains Park and Pentland Hills access points.

In addition to the advice below, people on bikes should use their bell when needed.


We’re launching a campaign today (Friday 15 May), encouraging everyone to be considerate of other people and follow Scottish Government guidance when enjoying their outdoor exercise and travel.

Increase in people using off-road paths and parks

Since restrictions were introduced to help manage the coronavirus outbreak, there’s been an increase in people using the city’s network of paths, as well as parks, as part of their daily exercise and for travelling to work or local amenities – with up to five times their normal use.

Data up to week five of lockdown shows increases on the Union Canal towpath, with 17% growth in pedestrian numbers at Harrison Park, whilst cycling numbers have grown by 76% at Wester Hailes. On the North Edinburgh Path Network at Rodney St, pedestrian numbers have grown by 14%, cycling numbers by 32%.  At certain times of the week, especially weekends, much bigger increases have been recorded.

While it’s great that the routes are popular and well-used, we want to make sure that everyone can undertake and enjoy their daily exercise and travel in safety and comfort.

Paths for everyone code of conduct

We’re asking everyone to follow our Paths for Everyone code of conduct and to:

  • Consider other path users when enjoying exercise outdoors
  • Follow Scottish Government guidance on physical distancing
  • Give others space
  • When cycling, slow right down when overtaking
  • Stay local
  • Choose somewhere quieter or with wider paths, if you can
  • Try to avoid busy times – early evening or early morning tend to be quieter

About the campaign

We’re sharing guidance to help everyone walking, running, cycling, wheeling or walking their dogs to get the most out of daily outings while maintaining physical distancing safely.

To help spread the message, we’ll be issuing a press release and sharing posts on social media from Friday 15 May. From Monday 18 May will be installing signs with key advice in all parks and along some of the most popular routes.

Signs will cover the citywide network and include areas around the Union Canal towpath, the Water of Leith walkway, Portobello Promenade, the Innocent Railway path, the North Edinburgh Path Network, the Gilmerton to Roslin QuietRoute and Holyrood Park.

Report issues

There might be local issues that you are aware of where additional signs may help. Please email your suggestions to

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