Wigan sees increase in cycling since start of Covid-19 pandemic

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) data shows the amount of two-wheeled traffic at a location in the borough where it is measured has risen considerably.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 11:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:46 pm
Cycling has increased in popularity since the first national lockdown
Cycling has increased in popularity since the first national lockdown

Sensor technology at the Scot Lane canal in Standish showed a 156 per cent jump in cycling levels since the novel coronavirus hit.

This was worked out by comparing the data from the 28 days up to March 21 this year compared to the same time period in 2020, which covered the weeks before the country went into its first national lockdown.

A Greater Manchester survey on the recovery from Covid-19 showed almost half of respondents in the city-region want to continue cycling and walking more once the current restrictions are eased.

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And data from across TfGM's network as a whole suggests that cycle trips are up around 25 per cent on the equivalent time period in March 2020.

Walking trips have fallen 10 per cent, but transport chiefs suggested this could be partly due to local restrictions and many high streets being closed.

However, the authorities say the data as a whole shows people have become increasingly confident using pedal power or venturing out on foot during the last 12 months.

Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: “It’s fantastic that half of people living in Greater Manchester have said they plan to travel more on foot or by bike post-Covid.

"Many have tried it during lockdown and they’ve decided it’s a daily habit that they want to keep. We intend to make sure they have the safe space to do it."

The Wigan data comes from one of 10 sensor locations across the city-region which are being highlighted by TfGM as they indicate huge rises in two-wheeled activity since last March.

TfGM has launched a new active travel website to give residents more information about cycling and walking across Greater Manchester.

The Bee Network, an ambitious project delivering cycling and walking routes, is also taking shape in a bid to encourage people to explore transport options other than driving.

The website shows what has been built, is under construction or planned in residents' local areas and suggests places that can reached within a 15-minute walk or cycle of their homes.

There is also a facility to book cycling confidence sessions as well as tips and advice.

Find out more at https://activetravel.tfgm.com/

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