Scottish surge in cycling continues - CILT(UK)
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Scottish surge in cycling continues

23 September 2020/Categories: CILT, Industry News, Coronavirus, Active Travel & Travel Planning, Transport Planning

A surge in the popularity of cycling early in the Covid-19 lockdown has continued for several months, according to Cycling Scotland.

The organisation said the number of cycling journeys made between March and August 2020 was 43% higher than the same period last year.

Data on the journeys is gathered from a Scotland-wide network of automatic cycle counters.

One counter in Glasgow saw a 199% increase compared with 2019.

Six other locations - including Dundee's Arbroath Road and Dunfermline's Kingseat Road - saw increases of more than 100% over the six months.

However, the increase in journeys month-by-month is slowing from a peak in May, when 77% more journeys were made across Scotland compared with 2019.

The charity's chief executive, Keith Irving, said the rise in people returning to cycling or starting to cycle was one of the "few positive changes" resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We expected that the progressive lifting of lockdown restrictions in most areas would affect cycling numbers and for the second month running we are seeing these increases start to slow slightly. It's heartening that cycling is still a third higher this August compared to last year.

"As we move into winter, the public health evidence clearly suggests we should try to be active and outside as much as possible. Cycling - and walking and wheeling - are great ways to achieve this."

Mr Irving said that to sustain Scotland's "renewed interest" in cycling long-term, investment in separate cycle lanes was needed, as well as "support for people to access bikes, training and storage".

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson, said the task was now to "lock-in" positive changes in travel behaviour.

"This is why we have committed to invest over £500m in active travel over the next five years," he said.

"By improving our match-funding offer for permanent infrastructure at the same time, it will help our local authorities make some of the temporary changes permanent where appropriate.

"Coupled with continued investment in high impact behavioural change initiatives, delivered through Cycling Scotland and other active travel partners, I believe we're well placed to deliver an Active Nation - where more people can walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys."

source: BBC News


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