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The pandemic lays foundation for 2022 cycling boom


With cyclist-centric Highway Code changes likely to provide another boost

Cycling trips shot up 26% across England in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to new data from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Riders also travelled much further, with average cycling distances 62% longer in 2020 than in 2019.

Leisure use boomed, up 75%, but commuting and work-based use fell 20% as remote working and furlough took hold.

The research points to greater interest in cycling over the coming years, with 47% of all persons over the age of five in England now having access to a bicycle, up from 42% during 2017-19, and ownership is highest in the under-17 age group.

The report also references recent government research which shows that 53% of respondents would be encouraged to get in the saddle if the roads were safer.

The anticipated introduction of new Highway Code guidance this Autumn, is expected to address this issue and give cyclists more protection – by establishing a ‘hierarchy of road users’ ranking the most vulnerable to harm and placing the greatest responsibility on drivers for the safety of other road users. Among the changes proposed by the transport secretary, will be giving cyclists greater priority over vehicles at zebra crossings and junctions.

The DfT announced the changes as part of a £338 million investment package to boost cycling and walking across the country.

Responding to the latest figures, Insurance Comparison Expert Lee Evans at Quotezone.co.uk – which launched one of the UK’s first price comparison services for bicycle insurance – comments:  “It will come as no surprise to many that cycling is flourishing, given the inadvertent boost from many months in lockdown, but the proposed changes to the highway code are a very positive step in supporting the cycling boom and giving cyclists confidence to take to the roads.  Given it’s been six years since the last change to the Highway Code, this is a significant development.

“Even though cycling has been surging, bicycle crime and accidents actually fell during the pandemic, but there’s always the risk that this downward trend might stall as traffic stabilises to pre-pandemic levels and opportunistic thieves emerge from lockdown restrictions. Which is why it’s still important to consider bicycle insurance – since some bicycles, especially electric models, can retail for thousands of pounds.”

Recommended by 97% of reviewers on Reviews.co.uk, Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users every year find better deals on their insurance, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different products, including niche items such as road bike insuranceelectric bike insurance and cycling liability insurance.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.