Driving short distances for Exercise.

In England, people are allowed to drive short distances for Exercise, so long as the exercise is significantly longer than the Journey. I would feel safer walking with my dog and my child in Shetland if I was allowed to drive a short distance to an isolated beach in order to run the dog off the lead. At the moment it's lambing time so where I can walk from my house is restricted due to sheep. If we keep a social distance, I don't see why people shouldn't be allowed to do some short drives for exercise in safer remote places.

Why the contribution is important

Safety. Although there is a risk of break down or needing fuel. Some. People live along busy main roads, where taking exercise directly from the house isn't always easy. I think it's important for mental health wellbeing. A change of scenery. I'm not taking about long and distant drives. But being allowed to drive a short way, to a quite place would benefit many and they have already implemented this rule in England anyway.

by Hannahmabob on May 05, 2020 at 04:50PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 59 votes


  • Posted by rst May 05, 2020 at 16:57

    Agree with @Hannahmabob.
  • Posted by ebarker May 05, 2020 at 17:03

    I think i would be sensible to perhaps consider giving a mile(s) based radius from home address that would be acceptable to give a clear message of what is and what is not acceptable
  • Posted by OwenVickers May 05, 2020 at 17:12

    The regulations in England and Scotland are the same on this point. There is no restriction on driving for exercise, and the CPS took the trouble in England of explaining what level of driving was consistent with taking exercise, which is permitted.
  • Posted by JoannaMac May 05, 2020 at 17:21

    This is sensible idea as most people who want to take exercise outside might like a bit of variety in where they exercise. The approach adopted in England should be copied in Scotland. It would make some areas where people dog walk less congested and improve social distancing. As farmers , and who are lambing currently, and who have a village neighbouring our farm a lot more people than normal are using our fields to walk in. Whilst we are happy to provide this it is not always evident that people respect the need to pick up after their dogs and avoid the lambing fields.
  • Posted by Rachael2312 May 05, 2020 at 17:27

    I think a sensible driving distance for exercise should be up to 10 miles from home or something like that. Surely it is better to take a short drive to a forest/ field than have everyone crammed onto paths in towns? As long as villages are not exposed to lots of visitors, I think country parks and forests should be open and accessible to all.
  • Posted by Fenneke May 05, 2020 at 17:33

    I think it makes sense too to be able to drive a short distance for your exercise. Last week I contacted Scottish Police and asked whether the guidance NPCC had published (saying that you’re allowed to drive as long as there is more exercise than travel), would also be eligible for Scotland. They redirected me to the Scottish Government website. The rules are not clear on that matter in my opinion!
  • Posted by Lovesunshine May 05, 2020 at 17:33

    Clarity on this issue would be good. My understanding is that we can only exercise locally within our household group, not driving to exercise. It would be good to have a little more flexibility to exercise as local area v busy with people walking so social distancing can be a worry.
  • Posted by morvenghunter May 05, 2020 at 17:34

    I agree I think that driving short distances to exercise would be acceptable as often it’s quieter in those areas than walking from your own front door. I have a dog and have walked every day only as instructed from my front door but as I live in a small town I am aware that lots of people have not been doing this. I think clarification and guidance on this would be good and for example details given eg travel no more than 5 miles from your home to exercise.
  • Posted by AnthonyButterworth May 05, 2020 at 17:34

    Allow reasonable travel if a reservation is made with a destination. There is a need to stop people congregating at non essential shops such as B&M B&Q etc. A golf course or destinations whereby people can visit will reduce the excuse to queue badly and infect staff by staying outdoors
  • Posted by Aham25 May 05, 2020 at 18:05

    I would like this as already people are doing it and breaking the rules....if there was clear guidance and people were not allowed to gather I feel it would be a good step
  • Posted by Ruth May 05, 2020 at 18:08

    I would really love to bag munros this summer but i wont because i dont want to risk spreading the virus. I do feel for people who have been trapped in cities for weeks, i think maybe a 20 mile radius from home is close enough to be able to monitor patterns for track and trace purposes but allows people to get out of town for a good walk
  • Posted by clindsay May 05, 2020 at 18:15

    We tried to go walking in the Pentlands last weekend and were turned away by police. Instead we walked with every other similar minded person on the Braids and it was chaos - dogs, bikes, runners, walkers, kids. Overcrowded and far less social distancing.
  • Posted by Sunshine May 05, 2020 at 18:16

    There needs to be clear guidance. This issue is highly contentious when you live in a rural area where people travel and park to walk. These areas are inundated with those visiting making them crowded and dangerous for local residents who themselves can be elderly and vulnerable.
  • Posted by Interfaithscotland May 05, 2020 at 18:38

    Good idea but with clear guidance on the mileage involved in the travel
  • Posted by Drexciya May 05, 2020 at 18:57

    This will just drive up crowds of people in to one place. Numerous cars will be spilling out of car parks at local beauty spots. Only way to regulate properly is for people to go out from their house.
  • Posted by beatebennek May 07, 2020 at 00:35

    I know every tree in the local woods. Need change of scenery
  • Posted by SEdgar May 07, 2020 at 10:20

    Many of our equines have been unable to participate in ridden exercise since the lockdown was put in place on 23rd March. Not being exercised in the manner/routine they are used to can have a lasting, detrimental impact on a horses life. Many of us trailer/box our horses to countryside and beaches to undertake that exercise. Most recently the lockdown rules were amended to allow people to travel to said places by car, so long as the exercise time exceeded the travelling time. I emailed police Scotland to confirm if this could apply to us horse owners who would trailer our horse for exercise while practising social distancing (which is relatively easy on horseback) and riding in a safe and sensible manner. I am yet to receive a response. I am waiting with baited breath for Sunday’s announcement in the hope that there will be a relaxation on ‘non essential travel’ which would allow us to return to our regular exercise regime with our equines.
  • Posted by elmrow May 07, 2020 at 10:27

    I am very concerned about the whole issue of driving to walk. At present, small rural communities in the Highlands are finding themselves calling the police on a daily basis due to individuals breaking lockdown rules; and those individuals are sadly not locals but individuals living 100's of miles away and driving up for leisure/ to go camping! Maybe some restrictions can be lifted around major cities but the Highlands requires a different approach - there is one major hospital covering 325,000 km and a very elderly population. My concern is that if restrictions on driving to walk are lifted - more individuals will take advantage of the easing up, act selfishly and continue to break the rules whilst risk lives
  • Posted by NKTC May 07, 2020 at 12:12

    Folk will spread infection outwith their local area (as they will touch things, leave rubbish, need to use facilities eg toilets, refuel vehicles etc), and risks too many people driving to honeypot locations where they wont be able to social distance. Stay local and drive only 20 minutes would be a better compromise that could also easily be checked and enforced.
  • Posted by Wilsmce May 07, 2020 at 15:53

    10-15 minute drive at most
  • Posted by Ktduck May 09, 2020 at 16:15

    People should be able to drive a short distance to go for a walk. In the grand scheme of things I am sure more police time is being wasted by nimbys and curtain twitchers than harm this is contributing to the pandemic. Plus people are under a huge amount of stress mentally, their favorite local walk can be the best medicine. Mental health and suicide are a real issue that many people overlook when getting on their high horse about this topic
  • Posted by lizacole May 09, 2020 at 18:20

    This would be great. But a short distance. There will be issues with car parking at nature reserve where the car parks and toilets have been closed and staff furloughed though. So staffing a policing (by rangers etc) should be taken into account.
  • Posted by LinzScot May 11, 2020 at 20:21

    I can drive to complete isolation to walk my dogs in a rural setting in a couple of minutes. Yet to walk there I risk walking on a road with a 60mph speed limit. The health benefits of having time in a peaceful setting is endless.
  • Posted by Nmma May 11, 2020 at 21:02

    My husband works in construction. If he returns to work soon then im left at home with young children and will be very isolated. Being able to drive a short distance to all the local woodland, river walks, beaches around us whilst maintaining social distancing and remaining only in our household would make such a difference to our mental and physical health. It would also be easier to maintain social distancing as being in a small village with only one walkway down the river means we are bumping into people we know almost every walk which is difficult for my young children.
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