Seven figures reached in calendar year for first time since device was installed to commemorate Tour de France visit

The number of journeys made by people on bikes passing a cycle counter in Cambridge has topped 1 million inside a year for the first time since it was installed in 2014, with nearly 3,000 cyclists passing it each day.

The cycle counter, on a shared used path on the east side of Parker’s Piece alongside Gonville Place, was installed to mark the city’s hosting of the start of Stage 3 of the Tour de France that year.

The ceremonial start to the stage to London took place a little further up Gonville Place, with the peloton then parading through the city’s streets past landmarks such as King’s College Chapel and the Fitzwilliam Museum before racing began in earnest.

On Wednesday morning, Cambridge Cycling Campaign tweeted a picture of the cycle counter after it hit the landmark figure – and as you can see from our picture above, it’s since been reset back to zero. Last year, the total fell 50,000 short of seven figures.

Cycle counters work through bike wheels triggering battery-operated magnetic loops placed on the ground – the passage of pedestrians and motor vehicles aren’t recorded – though usually they are not accompanied by the type of display unit that is on Gonville Place.

Cambridgeshire County Council monitors cycling in a number of locations across the county and according to its Traffic Monitoring Report for 2015, in five places in the city itself the average annual daily total of cyclists throughout the year exceeded 2,000.

Counting cyclist numbers helps local authorities plan and provide cycling infrastructure where it is most needed.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign has said however that on some main roads, upwards of 4,000 cyclists pass by each day.

The council’s cycling champion, Councillor Noel Kavanagh, told Cambridge News that he was “not surprised” the million mark had been surpassed.

"I cycle through it several times and have noticed the total going up. Most days, it is two or three thousand. I think this is really good.

"That is just one place in the city, though it is a busy place. It is very encouraging."

Roxanne De Beaux of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign said that in 2015, the cycle counter at Gonville Place had fallen just 50,000 short of hitting seven figures – equivalent to around 68 return trips a day.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.