Are Anti Cycling Issues Undoing Pro-Cycling Measures?

The People's Countryside Environmental Debate Podcast

08-10-2023 • 11 mins

“We seem to be cycling less since Covid. Councils really encouraged us to cycle more during the lockdowns, but it seems to be they too easily undo the pro-cycling measures when anti-cycling issues are raised by motorists and others?”.

That’s today's listener question up for discussion, sent in by Rob from East Lockinge, Oxfordshire, England.

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This podcast's overall themes are nature, philosophy, climate, the human condition, sustainability, and social justice.

As someone who cycles himself, co-host William believes that the Oxford City Council are at least trying to be more cycle friendly. He doesn’t label himself as a cyclist but more as someone who cycles. Using a bike is just one method he uses to get around the city.

William feels that the Oxford City Council are more pro cycling. He wonders if the perspective of this question sent in by Rob, in a rural area, shows the trend in the countryside, where again more people were potentially cycling during the lockdown and have gone back to driving more now that we are back to more “normal times”.

As far as William is aware, bus usage levels haven’t recovered since COVID, and he believes that overall, COVID has had a major effect on all our lives, particularly how we travel around. Maybe more people are now opting for the car, which can feel like a safer environment than going back to public transport.

Co-host Stuart raises that during COVID he became aware that more sections of the road were being given to cyclists, and maybe those are now being removed in some areas. He goes on to suggest that potentially more people are now taking the bus or driving, rather than cycling, but also that he knows people who picked up the cycling habit during COVID which they’ve kept up.

He feels that to explore this topic more, we need maybe a local councillor, as this debate is bigger than he and William. William wonders though whether a councillor would want to be a guest on the podcast, as their words are always picked apart by people.

Stuart suggests that what has changed is that many people’s lives are busy again, so it could just appear that people are cycling less. This whole idea needs to be monitored fully to really find out the answer to this question.

What do you make of this discussion? Do you have a question that you'd like us to discuss? Let us know by sending an email to ⁠thepeoplescountryside@gmail.com
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