Fewer people getting on their bikes in Hartlepool

Fewer people took to two wheels in Hartlepool last year, according to new travel figures.
Fewer people are cycling.Fewer people are cycling.
Fewer people are cycling.

The first coronavirus lockdown saw shortages at bike shops and councils reorganising streets to encourage cycling and walking – but people in the area have not kept on pushing the pedals, according to data from the Department of Transport.

Nationally the proportion of people regularly cycling has decreased – and just 6.1% of adults in Hartlepool biked at least once a week in the year to November 2021, down from 8.6% the year before.

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However, this was still a rise from six per cent in the year to November 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationally, the proportion of adults cycling once a week or more fell to 9.1% in 2021, having remained between 11% and 12% since 2016.

Sustrans, a campaign group for better walking and cycling, said the figures show there is still a need to make active travel "safe, accessible, and welcoming".

A spokesman said: "During the pandemic, when there were fewer cars on the road, people took to their bikes.

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"It’s sad to see this return to expensive and pollutant car-use."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The Government is investing a record £2bn to enable more walking, wheeling and cycling through better infrastructure, cycle training and active travel prescriptions.

“Though cycling levels have returned from the exceptional levels we saw during the pandemic, we remain fully confident our investment will enable many more people to choose cycling and walking for everyday journeys by 2030.”