Cycling Spiked During Covid: Will the Government Adapt Roads to Capitalise On This Surge?

Posted by on July 23, 2021 in Stuff with 0 Comments

The government has worked hard to try and create a golden age for things such as cycling. They want to try and capitalise on the amount of interest that was generated through lockdowns. Four times as many journeys were taken on bikes last year when compared to the year before. With everyone at home and workplaces closed, there were cars sitting on their owner’s drives or outside their homes, public transport was less busy.

All this created an environment where bikes had more freedom on the roads, and, also, cyclists (or would-be cyclists) had more time and motivation to ride them, make use of them, and see their many benefits. Since workplaces have reopened and lockdown restrictions have eased, the cycling figures have returned to pre-lockdown levels. Those who had taken an interest have stopped, it seems. Could the government promote new transport and pedestrian policies and practices which will encourage lockdown cyclists to put on their helmets again?

Cycling out of Lockdown

Cultivating a road and transport environment which makes cycling a preferred option will take some notable adjustments. Converting commuters into cyclists will be the focus, as they have the most repeatable and consistent journeys. There are two key areas for the government to consider: time and safety.

Many people bike because they live relatively close to work. However, some prefer to drive no matter what. Clearer roads – due to cycling lanes and pedestrianised centres – may reduce the time it takes to cycle to work, but affecting cultural change here may require other policies and marketing.

Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that collisions tend to occur during rush hours, when there are more cars on the road. Looking at testimonies for cycle accidents, it’s a common theme that cyclists who are involved in accidents are commuters. Pedestrianising areas of towns and cities have sought to help this, as well as creating clear cycling lanes.

Cycle Lanes

Cycle lanes have to be planned out very carefully. They have to be put in places where they work and it’s also important for a governmental campaign to be put into place as well. This can help to demonstrate the health and the environmental benefits that come with riding a bike in general. It’s shown that a lower default speed limit in more built-up areas also provides value.

Health experts have stated that they want to see the resurgence in cycling and that they want to see the levels that were taking place in the first lockdown. This would help to bring about a golden age for cycling and fitness, as opposed to one that is just a fleeting hobby.

It would be great to see even more cyclist routes put into place and at the end of the day, the government do need to do their part to make sure that people are committing to the task. If they can do this then the fitness level of the nation would increase and on top of this, people would find much more enjoyment when it comes to outdoor activities.

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