Will Aylesbury Vale choose bikes over cars or public transport to combat coronavirus?

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Following the Government's annoucement last week that people who cannot work from home should return to work if it's safe to do so, many are facing a travel dilemma as using public transport is still discouraged.

Instead of crowded trains or buses where coronavirus could easily spread, commuters are being asked to consider cycling or walking rather than reverting back to using their cars.

However, recent data shows that 61% of people feel that cycling on the road is too dangerous.

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And the challenge may be even greater in Aylesbury Vale, as Government statistics from before the lockdown was in place show that only 2.3% of people in the region used cycling as a mode of transport on a regular basis (at least three times a week), ranking it 203rd out of 368 surveyed.

Cycling is being encouraged as a way to avoid using public transportCycling is being encouraged as a way to avoid using public transport
Cycling is being encouraged as a way to avoid using public transport | other

The Government has released a £250m ‘emergency active travel fund’ aimed at helping towns prevent their buses, roads and public spaces becoming crowded as lockdown is lifted and issued guidance to councils.

New cycle lanes, wider pavements and low traffic zones in residential areas are among the emergency measures already underway.

Also on a positive note, a recent You Gov survey showed that 36% of people in the UK are considering changing their travel habits and using their cars less after lockdown ends.

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A spokesperson for Cycling UK said now was a “golden opportunity” to encourage people into cycling, and infrastructure changes would be key in changing perceptions of how safe it was to cycle.

The group has encouraged residents to write to their local council asking for improvements to cycle infrastructure, and some 6,000 people have already done so.

Sam Jones, spokesperson for Cycling UK: “We know that the greatest barrier to most people when they take up cycling is a perception of danger.

“That’s different to the actual danger, cycling is actually no more dangerous than walking per mile travelled.

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“We know that the thing that will get people cycling is if they feel safe and pop up cycle lanes and other infrastructure will help.

“This is a golden opportunity to get more people riding but that does require giving people the infrastructure to make them feel safe, and for their kids to feel safe as well.”