Active travel is booming in the United Kingdom as millions of commuters, shoppers and schoolchildren get on their bicycles to prevent confined spaces on public transport during the ongoing pandemic, data from the fitness tracker app Strava has revealed.
The working class city of Liverpool, made famous by its docks and ‘Mersey Beat’ music scene in the 1960’s saw the best year-on-year growth in cycling, with a rise of more than 220% for individuals taking a minimum of one trip by bicycle.
The British data, seen only by journalists at our partner news agency Reuters, also revealed the peak of Britain’s biking popularity increase surge came in May 2020, coinciding with the elevation of coronavirus lockdown constraints across the UK.
Strava spokesman Gareth Nettleton stated the app is presently making information freely available to local governments to assist them plan developments to bicycle paths and streets to empower more people to substitute automobile journeys and choose to ride, jog or walk instead.
“We’re doing this now – making the data available – because the only way this doesn’t become a COVID-19 blip is if infrastructure gets improved on the back of what’s happening right now.
“This is about how we produce infrastructure so that busy travel is a viable alternative, not only for those in lycra who move for long distances, but also for anyone doing the nursery drop-off or going to the stores”.
The data showed that London, where cycle commuting was also growing in popularity before the pandemic, ranked fifth in Strava’s growth table, with a rise of 119% – behind Manchester at 169%, Glasgow 146% and Birmingham 134%.
Across the country as a whole, the analysis – which compared the overall number of people travelling by bike in May 2020 with the same period in 2019 – found that cycling rose by 162%.
Chris Boardman, a former Olympic cycling gold medallist and now a campaigner for active travel, also urged urban planners to seize the opportunity to take the cycling trend “from a lockdown spike into a long-term solution for the country”.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Kate Kelland. Editing by Ed Osmond.
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