Trips made by bicycle in Exeter have rocketed to over one million according to latest statistics – an increase of 37 per cent since 2005.
61 million journeys are made by car in Exeter each year and, according to Devon County Council’s Cycle Exeter team, 40 per cent of those could be made by bicycle. The body is asking residents to cycle more and to encourage one other person to do the same in order to hit a target of 1.6 million cycle trips by 2011.
The Cycle Exeter team is handing out freebies and a snack breakfast in Bedford Square today to the first 300 people who sign up to the pledge.
“We’re launching this campaign because we want to inspire all types of people in Exeter to switch to two wheels to improve their quality of life and make our city an excellent place to live," enthused councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for Highways and Transportation.
"If a hundred people make a pledge on launch day and each of them sign up one more person in a week – and they then do the same, we could have everyone in Exeter cycling more by October.”
1,094,000 trips were made on bicycles in Exeter in 2008, a figure boosted by the activities of Cycle Exeter, which has trained over 1,000 children a year and created 18 kilometres of new or improved routes in the city.
Cycle Exeter’s forthcoming activities to increase cycling numbers include the launch of a new website with advice for residents and businesses looking to cycle more, the further extension of routes in and out of the city, improved bike parking, more support for local businesses and free cycling confidence training for residents.
Businesses in the city have lent their support for the campaign, including Royal Mail, EDF and Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club – all of whom have made their workplaces more cycle friendly.