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Active travel

Active travel is not only great for your health and wellbeing, it’s also good for the environment.  A 2021 study led by University of Oxford Transport Studies Unit in collaboration with researchers from Imperial College London's Centre for Environmental Policy analysed travelling patterns of 2000 participants across 7 cities in Europe and found that:

  • Those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year, representing a substantial share of average per capita CO2 emissions.
  • If 10% of the population incorporated active travel into their daily routine, 4% of lifecycle CO2 emissions from all car travel would be saved.

Here are some of the things you’ll want to know before you start your active travel journey:

Planning your route

Leeds is a compact city and easy to get around.  Here are some handy links to help you plan the best route to campus or beyond:

    • We recommended using Google maps to search for walking or cycling route directions as it provides information on the distance, time and elevation and you can easily add stops to your journey.
    • Leeds City Council have suggested walking routes in Leeds.
    • To plan your cycle route try the Cycle City Connect Journey Planner.

Facilities on campus

You can explore sustainable travel facilities across campus, including bike racks, repair stations and water refill points, in our Sustainable Campus map.

There are toilets in all buildings on campus, and changing rooms and showers in some of the buildings. For more information please email

Showers at The Edge are free before midday for our staff and students; after this time non-members will pay a fee of £1. You must present your staff or student card to gain access.

Cycle facilities on campus include open and closed bike stands, bike repair stands and track pumps. We strongly recommend using a D-lock when securing your bike on campus to keep it safe. Learn more about cycle safety and security.

Safety and security

If you want more advice about commuting by bike check out our list of links and resources about cycle safety and security.

If you’re walking or running, then travelling with a buddy, and/or letting a friend or family member know of your planned travel routes can help you feel safer en-route to your destination.  Some phones and apps offer the opportunity to share your live location with someone you trust, for example via ‘Find My iPhone’ on Apple devices, or via the WhatsApp messenger service.

The Security Office on campus is located at 175 Woodhouse Lane, and can be contacted at, by 0113 343 5495 (non-emergencies), 0113 343 2222 (emergencies only), or by Whatsapp Video Call service: 07876 866747.

Cycle hire and maintenance

The University Bike Hub is open for bike hire, advice and maintenance. University staff can also hire electric bikes to trial, and access secure cycle storage cages on campus.

If you’re cycling to campus, you’ll want to be sure that your bike is safe to ride. You can get help and advice with bike maintenance at the Bike Hub on campus, but you should also get into a habit of checking it yourself.

The Bike Hub run monthly Bike Maintenance 101 training sessions, and we've also compiled a basic bike maintenance checklist and a selection of videos to help you learn more about cycle maintenance.

Cycle maintenance stands are available across campus.

Leeds City Bikes

The University of Leeds campus also hosts e-bike docking stations as part of the Leeds City Bikes scheme.

This allows short term hire of electric bikes via an app, with the option to pay by the minute or purchase bundles of minutes at a discounted price. The scheme is operated by Beryl on behalf of Leeds City Council, and bikes must be hired from and returned to designated docking stations. 

Until July 2024 Students can receive 25% off the cost of minute bundles when you register with your university email address. 

Adult Bike Training

Fancy the idea of biking but haven’t tried it before? Or perhaps it’s been a while and you’d like to improve your skills and gain more confidence on the wheels? City Connect is offering free, socially distanced adult cycling classes with a qualified instructor.

Get the right gear

Many shops offer University discounts for students and in some cases staff as well, which can help you save money if you need to get kitted out.  Also consider purchasing second-hand which can save you even more, as well as reducing the impact on the environment. Use a trusted platform and remember to keep yourself and your money safe.

We have partnered up with local running shop Yorkshire Runner to offer 15% off in store and online, plus free gait analysis. To gain the discount, simply show your University ID card in store or use the code ‘club15’ online.

Staff at UoL can also participate in Cyclescheme, which allows you to swap part of your annual salary to obtain a bike, plus any cycle accessories you require.


If you have any questions, would like to share good resources that you have found, or need specific travel advice, please email:

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on active travel is linked to most of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.