More people cycling as funding pays off

Ride the Lights on Blackpool Promenade.
Ride the Lights on Blackpool Promenade.
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The number of people cycling in Blackpool has increased since investment was ploughed into making the town more bike-friendly, a new report has found.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans says data from nine cycle counters shows an increase from 785 trips per day in 2007 to 852 in 2010, up nine per cent.

Blackpool was designated as a Cycle Town in 2008 with £6m invested in cycling over three years.

This included providing nearly 10km of traffic free routes and setting up a hire-a-bike scheme which folded in 2015.

Cycle training was also introduced in schools, and figures from the study also show the percentage of children cycling to school increased to 1.7 per cent in 2010/11 compared to 1.2 per cent in 2006/07.

The annual Ride the Lights has also proved a success.

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans director for the North of England said: “The evidence of the study is clear, increasing levels of cycling in our towns is very much possible.

“The growth in cycle trips in the participating towns and cities reflects the fact that investment comparable to that spent in Denmark and the Netherlands stimulates changes in levels of cycling.”

Coun Don Clapham, who commutes by cycle to the town hall, said: “There is no doubt there are many more cycles on the road than there were prior to us becoming a cycling town.

“When I’m out and about whether going to the town hall, or around the area, I see people from children to those who are quite elderly, cycling.”