Britain grabbing lockdown by the handlebars as cycling popularity soars

By Jack Howes
June 18 2020, 12.00

Cycling in Britain has seen a sharp rise in popularity during lockdown as the public have changed their lifestyles due coronavirus. 

Reduced public transport services and a desire for more exercise during lockdown have contributed to the increase.

Data found on Google trends suggests that people are searching bicycles to buy more than ever, whether it be brand new or second hand.

The interest in cycling has exponentially increased throughout lockdown, with more Google searches more than doubling in May

Twickenham bike shop Giant has noticed a ‘tenfold increase’ in popularity during lockdown.

“We are pretty much running out of bikes,” said store assistant Luke Taranowski. “Even with the workshop as well, we are booked up for about a month and a half.

“On Saturday five or ten bikes rolled out the store. Every single day it is at least five or six bikes sold.”

Mr Taranowski pinpointed the government’s job retention scheme and lockdown as the two biggest reasons why cycling has enjoyed a popularity spike. 

“Lots of people who may have been thinking about buying a bike because of lockdown.

“They have just decided to go for it!”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last month that the transport network will only be able to carry one tenth of the capacity it could before Coronavirus as it will enforce social distancing. 

The government announced in May a two-billion-pound package to facilitate and encourage more people to walk and cycle as commuters face the challenges of going back to work in the coming months. 

Mr Shapps said the government will work closely with local authorities to make efficient cycle areas.

Employers will also be encouraged to increase uptake in the cycle to work scheme. 

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