The number of cyclists in York has risen by seven per cent this year, according to this article in the Yorkshire Post.
York was appointed one of several Cycling Cities across the UK – an initiative created to encourage 2.5 million adults and children to take up cycling across 11 towns – and council leaders have declared the project a success following the rise.
Councillors will take part in a strategy meeting tomorrow (October 20th) to debate further improvements to encourage non-car travel, including possible off-road cycle network extensions.
York executive member for City Strategy Steve Galloway commented: "The Cycling City programme is divided between behaviour change initiatives, such as the cycling fairs and tuition arrangements, and capital works aimed at making cycling safer and quicker.”
Galloway added that pro-cycling schemes in the city have not been universally well received locally: “There is still a cultural divide to address and we still see the negative comments which greet any proposal to improve cycling facilities in the city. Even those that do not affect car drivers – such has those in Beckfield Lane – still attract an unhealthy level of scepticism. Car drivers in particular should realise that the more people that chose to use cycles to get around then the less traffic congestion there will be.
"That is in the interests of all road users. Hopefully these new figures will go some way to address any scepticism about off-road cycle paths. Clearly, cyclists are voting with their wheels. The increase in use suggests that off-carriageway facilities are popular with cyclists representing an unimpeded and safer way of getting around.
"With time people adjust and often begrudgingly admit that the new approach was necessary. This is good progress and confirms that both the Cycling City concept and our concentration on providing alternative safe routes is justified."
York train station was recently revealed to be one of ten stations to become a cycle hub, while earlier in the year the city appointed a cycling ‘Tsar’ to look after all cycle matters in York.