More than one in three say they could rethink travel after pandemic – survey

More than a third of people say they could rethink the way they travel after the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey suggests.

The poll, commissioned by charity Cycling UK, indicated that 36% of people may change their travel habits, such as using cars and other motor vehicles less.

Some 9% of the 2,131 UK adults surveyed said they have been cycling more during the crisis.

If that trend was replicated across the UK, it could mean nearly six million people are getting out on their bikes more, according to the charity.

Out of this group, 63% said they want to see more traffic-free cycle tracks and paths to high streets and town centres, while 53% want more designated cycle lanes on roads (53%).

Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore said: “Our poll shows clearly that people are prepared to rethink their travel habits, using their cars less and cycling more, but only if they feel safe to do so.

“The Prime Minister said this should be the golden age for cycling, while the Transport Secretary announced major funding to encourage more people to cycle as an alternative to public transport.

“But encouragement is not enough. If the roads don’t look and feel safe to cycle, only the brave will choose to do so.

“If there’s space for people to cycle separated from motor vehicles, millions more will do it.

“That’s why we’re calling on local authorities to act now to install pop-up cycle lanes and widen pavements to create the space for people to walk and cycle safely while social distancing.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a £2 billion package to “put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy”.

A cycle lane was installed on Park Lane last week, one of London’s most prestigious roads.

It is part of mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Streetspace programme, which includes the rapid construction of a strategic cycling network using temporary infrastructure to reduce crowding on Tube, train and routes.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “This pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and how we travel, and it’s fantastic to see so many people are already walking and cycling or thinking of doing so.

“This month we announced a record £2 billion to encourage even more people to travel by bike or walk, with £250 million immediately available to create new pop up cycle lanes, as part of our commitment to create a lasting legacy of healthier, greener transport.”

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