Cycling Scotland which is the nation’s cycling organisation has released data today providing evidence of the perceived increase in cycling. The numbers show that there were 47% more journeys by bike in the year to March 2021 than in the previous 12 months.

The numbers are calculated using Scotland’s 47 automatic cycle counters. They have already reported increases for each month last year. During the snowy weather of January while the numbers initially fell, there was a rise in February.

There was a 52% increase in the number of people cycling during the first three weeks of March compared to the same three weeks in 2020 before the first Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

Latest information from the Bicycle Association show that bike sales and services continue to increase – by 45% in the UK in 2020.

MonthPercentage +/-
April 2020+68%
May 2020+77%
June 2020+63%
July 2020+44%
August 2020+33%
September 2020+32%
October 2020+22%
November 2020+7%
December 2020+4%
January 2021-14%
February 2021+20%
to 22 March 2021+52%
Keith Irving CEO Cycling Scotland

Cycling Scotland Chief Executive Keith Irving said: “It has been a horrendous year, but one of the few bright spots has been more people getting back on their bikes.

“Cycling has a key role to play in people getting exercise and fresh air, managing the ongoing pressure on our transport system and, crucially, tackling the global climate emergency we face.

“We’re delighted at the massive increase in cycling and it’s vital we see it continue and expand. 

“To get even more people cycling, we need to invest more in infrastructure so people feel safe to cycle. We need more dedicated cycle lanes, separated from vehicles and pedestrians. We need to reduce traffic, especially on residential and shopping streets. And we need to increase access to bikes and storage to tackle the barriers too many people face so anyone, anywhere can enjoy all the benefits of cycling.

“Helping far more people to cycle is key in delivering a green recovery from Covid and supporting a just transition towards a net-zero Scotland. Every journey cycled will make a difference.”