Cambridge cycle counter logs 1 million trips inside a year

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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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