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Cycling has increased by 200% since lockdown, government reports

Joe Robinson
5 Jun 2020

Huge surge in cycling during lockdown is one silver lining from situation

Cycling in the UK has increased by as much as 200% during the coronavirus lockdown. Secretary for Transport Grant Shapps announced in Thursday's daily coronavirus briefing that levels of cycling in the UK had soared by as much as 200% on weekends with a 100% increase on weekdays.

'One form of transport which has seen a significant increase is cycling; it’s great to see so many people switching to a clean, green mode of transport with significant public health benefits. It’s encouraging to see,' Shapps said in his address.

'Despite fewer people travelling over the last few weeks during this crisis, we’ve actually seen around 100% increase in weekday cycling and at weekends that increase has been up to 200%, compared to the pre-Covid-19 levels. We want to use this recovery to permanently change the way we travel, with huge levels of investment.'

This came after the Government also confirmed it will now be mandatory to wear face coverings on all public transport from 15th June.

To help encourage people to choose cycling for commuting and general exercise, Shapps added that the new £50 bike maintenance voucher would be available from the end of June.

He then went on to encourage workers to take advantage of the existing cycle to work scheme, stating that it had 'been extended to cover e-bikes as well, meaning cyclists can cover greater distances by getting assistance on those uphill stretches'.

Many parts of the UK have already acted on the surge of those taking up cycling for exercise and transport. Liverpool announced plans for 100km worth of cycling infrastructure while Manchester has also pushed forward its active travel plans.

Additionally, parts of London have been restricted to bicycles, public transport and emergency vehicles only with some of the city's busiest parts, such as King's Cross, having been fitted with temporary cycle lanes.

However, the biggest issue for those looking to get into cycling currently is bike availability. Record levels of demand, especially on entry-level models, have seen sales rocket for online retailers so much so that they are now struggling to meet demands, with some shops completely out of stock of entry-level bikes until later this summer.