Swansea council’s growing network of cycle and walking routes are becoming more popular than ever, according to a new survey.
The city boasts around 120km of off-road, accessible and shared-use cycling and walking routes and since the start of the pandemic, they’ve become more popular than ever as people take to their cycles for exercise.
A survey conducted for the Swansea Bayways campaign said that 81% of people who replied to the survey would prefer to cycle or walk to work or the shops. In addition to that 25% of respondents said that they’d used local cycling or walking route for the first time during the pandemic.
The survey reflects Swansea Council’s own research which showed a tripling of the number of people using the routes since the start of the pandemic. Electronic cycle-counters installed along many of the routes along Swansea Bay have recorded a tripling of cyclists using routes in 2020 compared to previous years.
Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Development and Infrastructure Management, welcomed the research, saying that it demonstrated how people were changing habits in a positive way.
“Lots of people don’t realise how close they are to a safe, off-road Swansea Bayway. If they did I’m sure they’d use them more. Around 60% of city households are within 500 metres of a dedicated cycle route that connects them to many other places across the city.
“Current Welsh Government rules on exercise say that you can cycle for exercise, you should start and finish from home and remain close to your home area. What we’re hoping is that having taken up the cycling habit during lockdown people will continue with it and roam more widely when it is over.”
Around £5.5m has been invested in cycle routes in Swansea over the last 12 months with new routes under construction in Mayals, Clyne and Gowerton. All should be up and running by the spring.
The Swansea Bayways campaign has also made it easier than ever to find new routes to try either to get to work or school or just to enjoy the sights and sounds of a new journey not tried before.
Cllr Thomas said: “Swansea Bayway active travel schemes are providing vastly improved links for commuters, as well as for people who want to walk or cycle for other journeys.”
Find out more about the council’s Active Travel programme here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/activetravelschemes