Call for cycling stats to be added to daily coronavirus transport figures

The government is being urged to add cycling to its daily round-up of coronavirus transport statistics in a bid to nudge people onto their bikes during the pandemic. The chief executive of Halfords, Britain’s biggest bike retailer, has written to ministers asking for the stats to be included on the slides shown at the beginning of the daily press conference – which show other modes like public transport and driving journeys. The government is keen to encourage people on bikes as a way of taking pressure off public transport and use road space more efficiently during the pandemic, and has made it easier for councils to throw up “pop-up” cycle lanes other facilities to help people commute to work on two wheels.

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“I believe that adding cycling data to the daily briefing in the way I have described would serve to remind people about the desirability of the cycling option and help nudge those for whom cycling to work is a viable option to move in the right direction,” said Graham Stapleton, the business’s CEO.

Mr Stapleton said various technologies were available to highway authorities to count the number of cyclists, such as pneumatic tubes, piezo-electric sensors, inductive loops, and camera systems.

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He added: “Over the past week, the Prime Minister and other members of the Government, including the Secretary of State for Transport, have encouraged people returning to the workplace to avoid public transport if they possibly can, and to cycle, walk or drive instead.

“I applaud the Government for the steps it is taking to facilitate safer transport choices and in particular for the immediate investment of GBP250m in cycling infrastructure, I look forward to the National Cycling Plan in June and to the appointment of a Cycling and Walking Commissioner.”

The letter was sent to Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, with the prime minister, transport secretary, and cabinet office permanent secretary coped in. On May 9, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, announced a GBP250m emergency “active travel fund” to fund the construction of segregated cycle tracks across the country.

The government has promised it will ultimately plough GBP2 billion into the policy to transform Britain roads, with cycling seen as the only mode of transport that will allow people to social distance, deliver the capacity to get people to work, and not cause huge tailbacks of traffic jams.

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.


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Staff react outside Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

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Staff inside Camberwell bus depot in London, during a minute’s silence

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NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak. PA

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Shoppers observe a minute’s silence in Tescos in Shoreham

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Firefighters outside Godstone fire station

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Hospital workers take part in a protest calling on the British government to provide PPE across Britain for all workers in care, the NHS and other vital public services after a nationwide minute’s silence at University College Hospital in London

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A school children’s poster hanging outside Glenfield Hospital during a minute’s silence

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A man holds a placard that reads “People’s health before profit” outside St Thomas hospital

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Staff members applaud outside the Royal Derby Hospital, following a minute’s silence

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Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill, Prime minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, stand inside 10 Downing Street, London, to observe a minutes silence in tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

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13/30 University College Hospital, London

Hospital workers hold placards with the names of their colleagues who have died from coronavirus as they take part in a protest calling on the British government to provide PPE

AP

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Staff at Waterloo Station in London, stand to observe a minute’s silence, to pay tribute to NHS and key workers who have died with coronavirus

AP

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Medical staff at the Louisa Jordan hospital stand during a UK wide minutes silence to commemorate the key workers who have died with coronavirus in Glasgow

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An NHS worker observes a minute’s silence at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

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17/30 Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London

AFP via Getty

18/30 Belfast, Northern Ireland

NHS staff observe a minutes silence at Mater Infirmorum Hospital

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19/30 Plymouth

NHS workers hold a minute’s silence outside the main entrance of Derriford Hospital

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NHS Frimley Park Hospital staff at the A&E department observe a minute’s silence

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21/30 Mater Infirmorum Hospital

People applaud after a minutes silence in honour of key workers

Reuters

22/30 Waterloo Station, London

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Wreaths laid outside Sheffield town hall

PA

24/30

A group of trade unionists and supporters standing outside Sheffield town hall

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25/30

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stands outside St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh to observe a minute’s silence in tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

PA

26/30

Staff stand outside the Royal Derby Hospital, during a minutes silence

PA

27/30 London

Police officers observe a minutes silence at Guy’s Hospital

Reuters

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A woman standing outside Sheffield town hall

PA

29/30 Royal Derby Hospital

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30/30 Leicester,

NHS workers during a minute’s silence outside Glenfield Hospital

Getty

1/30

Staff react outside Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

PA

2/30

Staff inside Camberwell bus depot in London, during a minute’s silence

PA

3/30

NHS staff at the Mater hospital in Belfast, during a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

4/30

Shoppers observe a minute’s silence in Tescos in Shoreham

Getty

5/30

Firefighters outside Godstone fire station

PA

6/30 Salford Royal Hospital

Getty

7/30 Salford Royal Hospital

PA

8/30

Hospital workers take part in a protest calling on the British government to provide PPE across Britain for all workers in care, the NHS and other vital public services after a nationwide minute’s silence at University College Hospital in London

AP

9/30

A school children’s poster hanging outside Glenfield Hospital during a minute’s silence

Getty

10/30

A man holds a placard that reads “People’s health before profit” outside St Thomas hospital

Getty

11/30

Staff members applaud outside the Royal Derby Hospital, following a minute’s silence

PA

12/30

Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill, Prime minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, stand inside 10 Downing Street, London, to observe a minutes silence in tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

PA

13/30 University College Hospital, London

Hospital workers hold placards with the names of their colleagues who have died from coronavirus as they take part in a protest calling on the British government to provide PPE

AP

14/30

Staff at Waterloo Station in London, stand to observe a minute’s silence, to pay tribute to NHS and key workers who have died with coronavirus

AP

15/30

Medical staff at the Louisa Jordan hospital stand during a UK wide minutes silence to commemorate the key workers who have died with coronavirus in Glasgow

Getty

16/30 London

An NHS worker observes a minute’s silence at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Reuters

17/30 Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London

AFP via Getty

18/30 Belfast, Northern Ireland

NHS staff observe a minutes silence at Mater Infirmorum Hospital

Reuters

19/30 Plymouth

NHS workers hold a minute’s silence outside the main entrance of Derriford Hospital

Getty

20/30

NHS Frimley Park Hospital staff at the A&E department observe a minute’s silence

Getty

21/30 Mater Infirmorum Hospital

People applaud after a minutes silence in honour of key workers

Reuters

22/30 Waterloo Station, London

AP

23/30

Wreaths laid outside Sheffield town hall

PA

24/30

A group of trade unionists and supporters standing outside Sheffield town hall

PA

25/30

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stands outside St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh to observe a minute’s silence in tribute to the NHS staff and key workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak

PA

26/30

Staff stand outside the Royal Derby Hospital, during a minutes silence

PA

27/30 London

Police officers observe a minutes silence at Guy’s Hospital

Reuters

28/30

A woman standing outside Sheffield town hall

PA

29/30 Royal Derby Hospital

PA

30/30 Leicester,

NHS workers during a minute’s silence outside Glenfield Hospital

Getty

Before the crisis only a baseline of around 4 per cent of commuter journeys in the UK are carried out by bike, significantly lower than in some neighbouring countries like the Netherlands and Denmark.

A Government spokesperson said: “We have received this letter and will respond in due course.

The slides at the daily Downing Street press conferences are kept under constant review.

“To encourage more people to walk and cycle into work during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve announced a GBP2bn package which will pay for, among other things, pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements and safer junctions.

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