Transport secretary Grant Shapps says that the level of weekday cycling has doubled in Great Britain since the introduction of lockdown in late March, with even stronger growth at weekends, when it has been at three or even four times more than the previous levels.
Government release lockdown cycling data.
Cycling levels up by 300% on some days. pic.twitter.com/3p8hG6KsDK
— APPGCW (@allpartycycling) June 4, 2020
While figures for other modes of transport have regularly been provided at the Number 10 daily briefing, it’s the first time data for cycling have been included – something that Chris Boardman, writing in The Times, had urged earlier this week.
At today’s update on the coronavirus crisis, Shapps promised “a green transport revolution” and also confirmed that “later this month, we’ll be introducing the ‘fix your bike voucher’, worth fifty quid.”
As we reported earlier this month, some half a million of the vouchers which will enable people to return bikes stored in sheds and garages to a roadworthy condition will be made available.
We will provide further updates on how that scheme will function, and how you can obtain one of the vouchers, as soon as we have the information from the Department for Transport.
Active travel, including cycling, is a central part of the government’s “road map” for easing lockdown, with people encouraged to travel to work – if they can’t do so from home – ideally by bike or on foot.
While people are also urged to use a car in place of public transport, active travel is being prioritised – including through the funding of emergency infrastructure – because of the prospect of gridlock on the roads should motor vehicle use return to pre-lockdown levels, or even higher.
Shapps also said that from 15 June, face coverings will be made compulsory on public transport, clarifying that he did not mean surgical masks, but the type “you can make at home.”
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.