The world has seen a significant increase in the number of bikes out and about since countries first began locking down. With government guidelines causing a nationwide shut down in 2020, many in the UK turned to cycling for an excuse to venture outside of their homes whilst numerous other recreational facilities were made inaccessible.
When lockdown rules were slowly lifted and people began commuting to work or school once again, many still chose their bikes over other modes of transport. Despite the reopening of high streets and hospitality venues, cycling also remains a popular weekend activity, with a significant increase on weekend counts compared to the same period in 2019.
Since discovering that the UK was one of the leaders when it came to the global bike boom leaderboard we wanted to investigate this phenomenon from a regional standpoint.
By accumulating data collected by our counters installed across the UK, we identified some interesting regional cycle trends in the month of September.
The data collected shows a 12% overall increase in cycle counts this September in comparison to that of September 2019. The largest increase was found in Wales, where cycle counts increased by 32%. This could be thanks to the £70 million Active Travel Fund invested by the Welsh government for 2021/22, a stark increase from the £10 million invested in 2018 when the fund was first established in an effort to encourage active travel and raise awareness of its benefits, both health and environmental.
Most other regions such as the Midlands and the general North have also shown a reputable increase in cyclists, ranging between 6-16%.
The Southwest however shows a slight decrease in cycle counts in comparison to 2019. This may be due to closures in some areas or many people still working from home and therefore not commuting during the week as they would have before the pandemic.
As shown in the above comparison, we can see that the portion of cyclists travelling at an hour when we would expect commuters is currently not as large in 2019, with around 7% of cyclists being recorded at 8am as opposed to 9% on average in the same hour back in 2019.
We hope the UK continues to exhibit these positive cycle trends throughout the rest of 2021 and onwards, solidifying our standings as a nation in the international bike boom. Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up to date with our newest data discoveries and the latest national and regional bike trends!