Cycle journeys to and from Glasgow city centre have more than doubled in less than ten years, according to new data collected by the council’s Sustainable Transport team. Figures based on the annual count of people cycling past 35 locations around the city centre area show that travelling by bike has gone up by 111% between 2009 and 2018.
According to the count, which took place over two days in September this year, there were 5,712 journeys by bike into the city centre on average each day with a total number of 11,000 journeys in and out of the city centre on a daily basis.
The 2018 count also indicated that almost 53,000 people walk into the city centre on average each day, with a total number of 102,972 journeys in and out of the city centre on a daily basis. This is a near 19% increase on 2009 and also suggests that a substantial number of the city centre’s 150,000-plus workforce walk to work every day.
The substantial increase in cycling can be attributed to a greater awareness of the health and economic benefits from cycling as well as a range of improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure. These include enhanced routes, greater availability of cycle parking and the introduction of the cycle hire scheme as well as widespread support for the promotion of cycling as a viable active travel option.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the figures provided concrete evidence that cycling is growing in popularity in Glasgow. With new cycling infrastructure such as the £6.5m South City Way due to be completed in the near future as part of the ambitious, overall City Way initiative, Councillor Richardson believes there is huge potential for the figures to grow even further.
She said: “These figures give us solid proof that cycling is on the rise in Glasgow. Our investment in cycling infrastructure is clearly paying dividends, and the Avenues and City Ways projects will provide a significant increase in the number of safe, protected routes across the city.
“There is strong public support for more, safe cycling infrastructure in the city and also for more people to take up cycling. Our plans aim to tap into the potential for further growth in cycling in Glasgow.
“The recent Connectivity Commission reports also shows that it is vital that we have a substantial shift to more sustainable forms of transport to protect the health and vitality of the city. Cycling must have a key role in the city’s future transport network.”
The most popular locations for people travelling on bike to and from the city centre are:
1. Broomielaw (at Washington Street) – 2,065 daily journeys on average.
2. Saltmarket at Clyde Street – 1,231 journeys
3. Tradeston Bridge – 1,088 journeys
4. Victoria Bridge – 929 journeys
5. Friarton Place East at Garscube Road – 539 journeys
The most popular locations for people travelling on foot to and from the city centre are:-
1. Trongate at Albion St – 10,335 daily journeys on average
2. Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross – 9,070 daily journeys on average
3. High Street at George St – 7,227 journeys
4. Tradeston Bridge – 6,170 journeys
5. Argyle Street at Anderston – 5,307 journeys.
The Bike Life Glasgow survey by Sustrans of 1100 Glasgow residents found that 82% of people supported building more protected cycle lanes even if it meant less space for other road traffic. The survey also indicated that cycling was seen as the least safe mode of transport with 79% thinking that safety for cycling needed to be improved. The survey identified that 78% of people wanted more money should be spent on cycling.