Cycle commuters return as numbers steadily creep upwards through Q3

Data from Sports Marketing Surveys has illustrated that cycle use has regained some of the momentum from the Spring spike, rising through Q3 to represent about 7% of commuters.

The findings come as part of the data giant’s assessment of transport habits starting June 8th and spanning September 14th, with cycle commutes closer to 5% at the beginning of the study period.

As part of its documentary of the steady uptick, Sports Marketing Surveys note the installation of Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes has brought about “some of the most radical changes to traffic management in the last 50 years”. In turn, that has provided people friendly streets on which the data recorded the number of those walking to work has also increased “by a factor of nearly 50%.”

While Department for Transport data has illustrated just how quickly motoring traffic has returned, in particular van and HGVs, Sports Marketing Surveys analysis says car commuters modal share has actually decreased during peak hours by 9% to represent 55% of journeys. Meanwhile, public transport use began to steadily return, up 15% in the week beginning September 14th.

“In other words, those coming off furlough or returning to offices at the later stages of the pandemic were more likely to turn to alternatives including walking, cycling and public transport than those who returned to work earlier in the crisis,” said the researcher.

When contrasted against the latest data from the Department for Transport, there does appear to be some validation of the trend with cycle use generally running nicely north of the usual levels for the time of year through to the end of September. A tail off is evident in what has thus far been a very wet October, though usage has still run north of normal levels at times.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Economic Council for Europe warned that Governments must “build back better” for cycle commuters and other light transport means, or face a €100bn economic penalty.