The variety of individuals biking greater than doubled in some elements of Scotland final yr as lockdown restrictions led to a drop in highway visitors and rising security confidence.
Campaigners at the moment are calling for elevated funding in infrastructure corresponding to designated cycle lanes to maintain the rise and encourage extra individuals swap their automobiles for commuting by bike.
READ MORE: Biking in Glasgow metropolis centre soars by 80%
In accordance with information gathered by Biking Scotland’s nationwide community of 47 computerized cycle counters, there have been 47 per cent extra biking journeys recorded general between March 23 2020 and March 22 2021, in comparison with the identical interval in 2019-2020.
In Girvan, Callander and Dunoon, the variety of bike rides rose by greater than 100% over the yr.
The sharpest spikes Scotland-wide have been seen within the months instantly after lockdown, with 68% and 77% extra cycle journeys recorded respectively in April and Could 2020, earlier than regularly decreasing to a year-on-year improve of four% by December.
In January this yr, amid opposed climate situations, the variety of cycle journeys being taken was really down by 14% in comparison with January 2020, earlier than the pandemic.
Nonetheless, the figures rebounded with the cycle counters recording 20% extra bike journeys in February this yr and a 52% upturn throughout the three weeks from March 1 to 22 final month.
READ MORE: Edinburgh and Glasgow react to new cycle lanes
Biking Scotland stated the figures have been a “shiny spot in a horrendous yr”.
The charity’s chief govt Keith Irving stated: “Biking has a key function to play in individuals getting train and recent air, managing the continuing stress on our transport system and, crucially, tackling the worldwide local weather emergency we face.
“We’re delighted on the large improve in biking and it is important we see it proceed and broaden.”
He added: “To get much more individuals biking, we have to make investments extra in infrastructure so individuals really feel protected to cycle.
“We want extra devoted cycle lanes, separated from autos and pedestrians. We have to cut back visitors, particularly on residential and procuring streets. And we have to improve entry to bikes and storage to sort out the obstacles too many individuals face so anybody, wherever can get pleasure from all the advantages of biking.”
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Claire Sharp, a charity employee who lives on Glasgow’s south aspect, began biking once more final yr.
She stated: “I stay subsequent to a predominant highway that leads into town centre to my work; it is a straightforward route however the visitors there’s so heavy. I used to be too scared to aim it previously.
“I knew lockdown was going to occur and thought it might be good to get a motorcycle.
“Partly because the roads can be quiet, which might be good for a newbie, and in addition for train because the gyms can be closed.”
Asif Sattar, 45, an IT employee from Motherwell, stated: “I performed soccer all my days and as there was a lockdown I took up biking.
“Biking was a method for me to interrupt freed from the lockdown gloom.
“As I used to be working from house, getting out on my bike helped me train, clear the thoughts and refocus on my well being throughout the pandemic.”