By Alex Ballinger published
The UK has seen up to a 200 per cent increase in cycling during coronavirus lockdown, the government has revealed.
Transport secretary Grant Schapps announced the enormous surge in the number of people cycling while giving the governments daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday (June 4).
According to the Department for Transport, weekday cycling levels have increased by 100 per cent, while at weekends the jump is up to 200 per cent the pre-coronavirus levels.
The government has also introduced schemes to further encourage cycling, including ‘fix your bike’ vouchers worth £50, which will be available later this month.
Schapps said: “One form of transport which has seen a significant increase is cycling, It’s great to see so many people switching to a clean, green mode of transport with significant public health benefits. It’s encouraging to see.
"Despite fewer people travelling over the last few weeks during this crisis, we’ve actually seen around 100 per cent increase in weekday cycling and at weekends that increase has been up to 200 per cent, compared to the pre-Covid-19 levels. We want to use this recovery to permanently change the way we travel, with huge levels of investment.”
The government has also announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking to keep the nation moving as coronavirus restrictions are slowly eased.
Schapps said the government is still encouraging people to avoid public transport where possible, with face coverings to be made mandatory on trains, buses and tubes from June 15.
Workers are being encouraged to cycle their commutes where possible, by making use of the bike vouchers and the Cycle to Work scheme.
Schapps: “Later this month we’ll be introducing the fix your bike voucher worth 50 quid. We’ll have hundreds of thousands more roadworthy bikes on the road as a result of this programme.
“Then there’s the cycle to work scheme, which enables employees to buy a tax-free bike - An effective saving of 25 to 39 per cent. That scheme has been extended to cover e-bikes as well, meaning cyclists can cover greater distances by getting assistance on those uphill stretches. “
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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