PortBUG: Bicycles as Everyday Transport – News from the UK…

Here’s a great article from the BBC explaining why it’s essential – particularly in these ‘COVID-times’ – that we understand and frame cycling as a form of everyday transport, and not primarily as a ‘sport’ or recreational activity. It’s really worth reading!

And from elsewhere in the UK, a few pointers as to how South Australia might respond to our pandemic emergency…

From Wales: £38m in funding announced to improve cycling & walking in Wales.

“Bike sales surged in lockdown as people avoided public transport for fear of catching Covid-19. Economy and Transport Deputy Minister, Lee Waters, said he wanted people to leave the car in the garage following the pandemic. Last month ministers said roads, public transport, walking and cycling routes would get £15.4m worth of improvements …the Welsh Government said it would be the biggest ever investment in healthy travel in Wales.

“The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed our lives,” Mr Waters said. “Coronavirus has brought much hardship and tragedy.  It has also presented us with a golden opportunity for change. More people than ever before are walking and cycling to work, visit friends and pop to the shop.”

From Scotland:  Scotland sees huge rise in the number of people cycling. 

‘Pop-up’ bike lanes.

‘A study by Cycle Scotland found there was a fivefold increase in the number of journeys made on a bike, while there was also a big drop in the number of cars being used….  “It’s encouraging to see such a dramatic increase,” said Cycling Scotland’s monitoring and development officer, Natalie Cozzolino.  “Supporting access to bikes and places to store them is also key to enabling more people to choose travel by bike, helping us address the climate emergency we face and creating a healthier, sustainable future for everyone.

Last week the government in Scotland announced they had allocated £30m for pop-up bike lanes to help make more space for walking and cycling.  “Walking, wheeling and cycling protects our climate, improves our air quality and brings profound benefits to our physical and mental health,” said Scotland’s Transport Secretary Michael Matheson.

Fix Your Bike & Cycling Prescriptions: ‘Fix your bike’ vouchers & cycling prescriptions for NHS… 

“A government scheme offering £50 bike repair vouchers will launch in England on Tuesday as part of plans to boost cycling and walking. An initial 50,000 vouchers will be made available online… on a first-come, first-served basis. The prime minister also announced that access to bikes will be available on the NHS as part of the strategy… It comes after the government launched its obesity strategy. GPs in areas of England with poor health will be encouraged to prescribe cycling, with patients able to access bikes through their local surgery.”

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