Great news for cycling lovers, and for the environment – Leeds City Council has recently announced an ambitious plan to promote active travel which includes an additional 100KM of temporary cycle lanes!
Double Olympic triathlon champion and Active Travel ambassador, Alistair Brownlee, encourages people to use their bikes for a healthier and more active journey to the city centre.
He believes cycling or walking are now the safest modes to travel across the city and that the new cycle lanes are a positive response to the Covid-19 crisis. He adds: “If all who can introduce more walking and cycling into their day to day lives, it’ll have huge physical and mental health benefits. This is a great opportunity to make massive leaps to transform active travel.”
From late June, A65 Kirkstall Road will be the first area to take advantage of the temporary cycle lanes. From Vesper Walk to the city centre, the space dedicated to people on bikes will be separated from the traffic lane with so-called ‘wand orcas’ (as you can see in the cover photo).
Sport England has identified that in the first week since the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, walking (65%) and cycling (16%) both hit peak figures. Cycling also seems to be a popular family activity with 18% of those who are cycling doing so with children from their household. To learn more about the latest research on physical activity during Coronavirus, visit https://www.sportengland.org/know-your-audience/demographic-knowledge/coronavirus#research.
If you want to give cycling a go, whether it’s for safe travel to work or for leisure, British Cycling has put together some great resources. Check out their It’s Time to Choose Cycling campaign for tips and guidance on how to commute and enjoy family time on your bike, but also on how to improve your riding: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/ChooseCycling.
There are plenty of bike libraries across Yorkshire from where you can rent a bike and which are still operating, but you would need to contact them directly to check their current status: https://bikelibraries.yorkshire.com/locations/.