Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Staff and Student Commuting

In 2020, the University was named as the best University in the UK for student cyclists.

Just eat cycles
Just Eat Cycles in Edinburgh

Student accommodation site Mystudenthalls.com ranked UK universities using a range of measures.

We work with organisations throughout Edinburgh to ensure that cycling is an attractive, safe and secure option for students and staff. The University supports and encourages cycling by offering cycle training, bike maintenance courses, a cycle to work scheme, Doctor Bike sessions and a number of discounts in local bike shops.

More than 1,000 new cycle parking spaces across campus sites were added for the start of 2019-20. The University is a partner in Just Eat Cycles, the City of Edinburgh’s cycle hire scheme.

The Staff Cycling Community, launched in 2019, is a new staff-led initiative to connect cyclists across the University. The Community runs events including regular meet ups at different campuses and weekend cycle rides allowing new cyclists to test their commuting routes.

The 2019 Travel Survey of staff and students found that 80 per cent of students either walk or use the bus to and from campus. Staff travel was found to be more evenly distributed between different modes of travel, with the bus being the most common mode. The findings will help inform the development of the new Integrated Transport Plan from 2021. This will look to include the impacts of Covid-19 on travel.

Travel surveys 

Target to be achieved by 2021 2016 Baseline 2017 Result 2019 Result
Walking: 30% of staff and 60% of students

25% (staff) 57% (students)

25% (staff) 54% (students) 25.5% (staff)  50.4% (students)
Cycling: 15% of staff and students (combined) 13% 13% 11.6%
Introduce new bus ticket options that are better suited and priced to the needs of our students   48% of students felt affordability was good or very good Working partnership with Lothian Buses established. 36% of students felt affordability was good or excellent
75% of respondents rate public transport as good to excellent   No categories measured reached 75% satisfaction 59.3%
Car driving: 29% of staff and students at every site (except Easter Bush)   All sites achieved this except Pollock Halls All sites achieved this except Pollock Halls
2% of parking permit holders driving electric vehicles 0.4% (7 respondents) 8 respondents 1.6% (41 respondents)

Case studies

Best University for student cyclists