“Cyclists are not a tiny minority whose needs can be easily ignored.” Winchester Cycle Count.
What is Cycle Winchester?
Cycle Winchester was established in 2017 and campaigns to make our city better for those who cycle (or would like to). We undertake activities including organising Mass Rides and showcasing the wide variety of people who cycle in Winchester.
Like most campaign groups, we spend a lot of time making the case for better provision. We became concerned about a lack of useful (or public) data related to cycle use in the city.
Hampshire County Council (the Highways Authority) and Winchester City Council have transport and climate change strategies that aim to increase levels of cycling but there is inadequate baseline data against which to measure success.
What is the Winchester Cycle Count?
A Winchester Cycle Parking Survey already exists and so CW decided to set up a Cyclist Count to examine who is on the roads, and the routes they use, by monitoring biannually (winter and summer) at specific locations.
We identified 10 sampling points around the city where a single count was carried out between 8am and 10am on a midweek morning. At each point information such as direction of entry into / exit from a junction or node was recorded.
What did we find out?
Although the counts were taken on different days they can be taken as a snapshot of a single winter morning. The total movements per hour pre 9am were 231. The total movements per hour post 9am were 124.
More than 350 cycle journeys recorded over a couple of hours on a winter morning is a significant level of activity. Early results from our summer count show (unsurprisingly) higher numbers. Cyclists are not a tiny minority whose needs can be easily ignored.
It was noticeable how many of these cyclists resorted to pushing bikes or using pavements to maintain safety. Most people are cycling in spite of everything.
The route patterns at junctions were more varied than anticipated.
Cycle infrastructure should cater for cross-city travel not just access along primary routes.
Much higher levels of cycling are seen where routes are more welcoming and traffic levels are lower. Our authorities should be encouraged to imagine how large the numbers would be if cycling were to be made safer and easier.
For more information about Cycle Winchester, please visit: www.cyclewinchester.org.uk
A detailed report on the Winchester Cycle count can be found here: https://cyclewinchester.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CW-CountReport-JanFeb2022.pdf