Sustrans to count bike traffic in Cycling Towns and City

Three year monitoring programme for the government

by Tony Farrelly   December 2, 2008  

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Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity behind the National Cycle Network and more besides, is to monitor the levels of cycling in the 18 recently announced Cycling Towns and Bristol, the UK's first Cycling City. The cycle traffic count will be carried out for the Department for Transport and Cycling England.

During the three year monitoring programme the charity will record cycling activity using methods developed over 10 years of monitoring the 12,000 miles of National Cycle Network. Using Sustrans to do the count marks a significant departure from the DfT's usual methods of traffic counting which have been criticised in the past for significantly under-counting the numbers of cyclists to the point where cycling numbers appeared to be falling in some areas when on other measures they looked to be rising.

The study will include detailed work in schools taking part in Sustrans' Bike It programme. It will also include the collection of data on cycle flows using cycle counters. Different measures of cycling activity will be determined by the particular focal points of the towns and city.

Andy Cope, Director of Sustrans' Research and Monitoring Unit said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the monitoring contract, along with our partners at Bolton University and Cavill Associates. The information we supply will be central to monitoring how the Cycling Towns and City are working; they have set themselves some ambitious targets and objectives and it is crucial for them to know how they are progressing.