Cycling has been prevalent in our towns and cities for years, but the recent pandemic has meant active travel is in focus more than ever. With limited capacity on public transport, we’ve all been called upon to do our bit and walk or cycle where possible.
An award of funding for central government has meant we’re starting to see reallocation of road space for people opting to walk, run or cycle. This might include pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements and safer junctions. To view Sheffield City Region’s vision to create a fully joined up South-Yorkshire wide walking and cycling network by 2040,visit Sheffield City Region's website.
Despite there being a staggering 70% rise in the number of people on bikes for exercise, or for safe, socially distanced travel there are still improvements to be made with only 2% of trips being made by cycling or walking within South Yorkshire before the pandemic. It is forecast that there will be up to half a million extra trips per day across our transport network and if current trends continue, many of these will be by car.
Benefits of cycling
So, why should you choose cycling instead of hopping in the car for a short trip?
It’s a well-known fact that cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine and has the added benefit of meaning you avoid the rush hour stress of sitting in traffic and having to find a parking space. Regular cyclists enjoy the benefits of consistent exercise; they have a 40% lower chance of getting cancer, 40% less likelihood of premature death and 50% less likely to have heart disease. It can play a part in supporting the wellbeing of a healthy mind and can increase your mental alertness, energy, positive mood and self-esteem. Switching to pedal power isn’t only great for a healthy mind and body but can have great environmental and money and time-saving impact too.