A third (36%) of people are reconsidering the way they travel once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. The government have recognised this by launching a £50 voucher for half a million bike repairs. As bike shops struggle to keep up with the demand, road safety must be carefully considered to ensure that these new cyclists remain protected on our roads.
Change in Travel Behaviour
Cycling UK, a national cycling charity, carried out a YouGov survey. It showed that one in ten people in the UK are cycling more during the crisis. 36% percent of them said that they would reconsider how they travel once the restrictions are lifted; saying that they would use their car or motor vehicles less.
Bike shops have been able to stay open throughout restrictions to help keep the country moving. Many of them are reporting a massive increase in demand, with some big brands selling out nationwide.
£50 Bike Repair Vouchers
Grant Schapps, Transport Secretary announced £50 vouchers to help people get back on their bikes. The first half a million people to apply will receive a voucher to be redeemed for bike repairs. Helping them get their bikes out of the shed and safe to use on the road again. He said it will help in “speeding up the cycling revolution, helping individuals become fitter and healthier, and reducing air pollution which remains a killer.
“Clean air should be as much a priority for us in the 21st century as clean water was to the Victorians in the 19th.”
New Cyclists on the Road
Bike sales have doubled over lockdown, but the demand is quite different to the usual road bikes. Seven out of 10 buyers are new or returning cyclists. An ever-increasing number of these are families making the most of the quiet roads and good weather. This has seen a massive increase in the sale of children’s and hybrid bikes. The new voucher scheme is expected to put even more demand on bike shops; as would be cyclists flood to get their bikes up and running.
Demands for Road Safety for Cyclists
Cycling UK’s research showed that people want safer roads to consider using their bike more once lockdown is lifted. They want traffic free cycle tracks to high streets and town centres (63%) and designated cycle lanes on roads (53%).
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns, said; “Our poll shows clearly that people are prepared to rethink their travel habits, using their cars less and cycling more, but only if they feel safe to do so.
“The Prime Minister said this should be the golden age for cycling, while the Transport Secretary announced major funding to encourage more people to cycle as an alternative to public transport.
“But encouragement is not enough. If the roads don’t look and feel safe to cycle, only the brave will choose to do so. If there’s space for people to cycle separated from motor vehicles, millions more will do it.”
The Government have therefore announced that the voucher scheme is part of a wider programme worth £2 billion. They plan to invest in helping people walk and cycle whilst public transport is less accessible. This is to include the repurpose of town centre infrastructure for active travel, which may include electric scooters becoming a key feature.
To protect these new cyclists on the road, their safety must be considered to ensure they continue to use their bicycles rather than return to their cars.
How Pryers can Help You
Pryers Solicitors are personal injury specialists, we have helped many motorists and cyclists who have been injured in an accident. Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to injuries in an accident, so we can help you claim the compensation you deserve on a no win no fee basis. Speak to our experts to find out more.