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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.