The Covid-19 pandemic have undoubtedly brought about a dramatic increase in the popularity of cycling and walking. With heightening concern over the safety of public transportation and a reinvigorated appreciation for health and well-being, freedom, and routine many more of us than ever before are dusting off our bikes and running shoes. If we look back pre-Covid-19, Cycling UK reports an upwards trend in cycle traffic from as far back as 1993 and suggests that it is around 32% higher than it was 20 years ago. For towns and cities, this makes investment in cycle track infrastructure a modern and relevant move.
From the keen cyclist to the tentative beginner, there is much to be gained from accommodating the needs of our cyclists and inspiring more to power the pedals. Yet, it is not just the cycling enthusiast that has much to gain from cycle tracks in towns and cities; the benefits can be felt in the wider community too.
Here we delve a little deeper into a whole host of those benefits.
Benefits of Cycle Tracks in Towns and Cities
In comparison to busy main roads, a cycle track is a far safer means of travel. With cyclists not competing with vehicles for road space, a cycle track can reduce the risk of collisions and the number of road-traffic incidents. Subsequently this can make the area safer for both the cyclists and the road users and may even save time and money for health services like the NHS.
Travelling from A-B in the great-outdoors whilst powering the pedals will certainly get the blood pumping through your body. The impact on your physical fitness levels can be widespread including improved cardiovascular function, muscle strength and tone. Cycling is also a great way for anyone on a mission to lose weight in a bid to become physically fitter.
A long history of research into the effects of exercise on our mental health has consistently linked it to releasing endorphins that boost feelings of positivity and well-being. A study by YMCA in 2017 found that those with active lifestyles had a ‘well-being score’ 32% higher than inactive individuals. Regular cycling not only ensures you stay active, but can also give you the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city-traffic, admiring the view instead and taking your mind off daily stresses.
Whether the cycle lane is being used for commuters or those with a hobby, an initial investment in a safe and sturdy bike will undoubtedly reap rewards when it comes to saving money. When compared to the cost of an investment in a car, ongoing petrol costs and repairs, or even continuous travel by public transport, a bike will most likely be a cheaper alternative in the long term.
More people on cycle tracks and less cars on the roads can mean a reduction in wear and tear on the roads and less of the all-too common plague of pot-holes that seem to adorn UK roads. This can result in lower road-maintenance costs for local councils (and the tax-payer!) and a decreased chance of incurring repair costs to damage caused to personal vehicles from poorly maintained roads.
The use of cycle tracks may well reduce the time spent travelling from one place to another particularly for large and busy cities where the thought of sitting in rush hour traffic fills you with dread. In more rural areas, a bike may well take longer, via the same route as a vehicle, however, a properly installed cycle-lane could provide a more direct route (not to mention how much more enjoyable the fresh air is compared to sitting in traffic!)
Whilst providing for the already keen cyclist, cycle tracks can also promote more bikers and therefore fewer drivers. The result of fewer cars on the road is less congestion and a more pleasant travel experience for cyclists, drivers and even pedestrians in the area too.
Although commonly thought to only accommodate cyclists, a smooth cycle track can provide a safer route for people who struggle with kerbs, steps and other obstructions. This may include wheelchair and mobility scooter users or even parents with pushchairs and prams.
A cycle track provides families with a safer alternative to cycling on the roads and can be a great way to bond together. It may also help to encourage good lifestyle habits for the younger generation.
It goes without saying that bicycles are better for the environment than motorised vehicles. By installing cycle tracks that are properly maintained and safe for cyclists to use even at night, you create a preferred option to traveling by car to boost the numbers of people using the environmentally friendly method of travel.
This can have huge benefits for places where pollution and smog are a problem and if utilised on a large scale could see a positive impact on our environment.
Learn More About Solareye
Here at Solareye, our lighting is suited to a huge range of applications and cycle tracks and pathway installations were at the forefront of our initial designs as an economical alternative to hard wiring.
The quick and easy installation of our lighting offers 360 visibility and each solareye80 light is made from durable, engineering grade polymer that is CE certified and both weather-proof and skid resistant. All of which contribute to maximum safety for the cyclists.
What’s more, for conservation-sensitive areas or dark sky reserves, you may like to consider reducing the upwards lighting by up to 98% with our ‘Bat Hat’ feature. This has been designed to ensure the light won’t interfere with our nocturnal friends.
To find out more about our range of lighting and the benefits, please do not hesitate to get in touch with out friendly team today. Alternatively, you can request a sample through our quick and easy online form.