Warrington Borough Council and partners are offering help, advice and support to the increased number of people getting on their bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the lockdown started, Warrington has seen a 75% increase in cycling compared to this time last year, encouraged by less traffic on the roads and reduced travel options for commuters.
Cycling is recommended as one of the best and most reliable ways to travel for those needing to make essential journeys, and bikes are also helping key workers commute across Warrington.
The cycling charity Cycling Projects, based in Warrington, has delivered bikes and accessories to Warrington Hospital for use by NHS key workers who would otherwise have difficulty getting to work.
Cycling is also a popular way to take daily exercise, but the council is reminding people to stay local and to ensure they keep two metres apart from other cyclists and pedestrians. And while guidelines advise you should only use your bike to exercise once a day, you can also use your bike to shop for basic necessities, provide care or help vulnerable people.
The council has now completed its newly updated cycle map at warrington.gov.uk/cyclemap, to help all those considering cycling to plan their route.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “Warrington, like other places across the country, has seen a large increase in cycling during this period. I’m pleased that the council and local charities are providing this support.
“Please make the most of the resources on offer, including our new cycle map. It’s about responding to the increase in cycling and making sure all cyclists in our borough stay safe, whether they are commuting to work, taking exercise or making an essential journey.”
Cabinet Member for transportation, highways and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: Cycling is a great way to boost mood and stay active in these challenging times. The local street network is quieter than usual and there are plenty of local parks and green spaces where cycling is permitted.
“There is a range of support available for people who are getting on their bikes during this period. Make sure you cycle safely, follow the guidelines, plan ahead and cycle slowly past walkers, giving way to them when necessary.”
Walking and cycling charity Sustrans has also produced an interactive map to help people find bike offers and services in their area. It includes bike shops that are staying open during the pandemic, cycle offers and discounts available to all key workers and repair and maintenance locations. sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/cycles-for-key-workers
For the latest information on coronavirus in Warrington, please visit warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus