Strava Metro made free in cities around the world, including the UK, to help encourage sustainable travel after the pandemic

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Strava Metro is to be made free in cities around the world to provide information to transport planners that will help them make streets safer for people who cycle around. The news comes as Strava reveals that the number of cyclists – at least those using the social network for athletes – was 162% higher in the UK in May 2020 compared to the same month last year.This period coincided, of course, with the final stages of the initial lockdown that was put in place across the country at the end of March, and which led to a boom in both cycling and cycling. exercise and for people who needed to get to work, including key workers such as NHS staff, switching from public transport to bicycles for their commute.

In UK cities, the largest increase was seen in Liverpool, followed by Manchester and Glasgow, with the full top 10 as follows:

1. Liverpool – 222,04%

2. Manchester – 169,73%

3. Glasgow – 146,24%

4. Birmingham – 134,59%

5. London – 119.38%

6. Newcastle – 115,38%

7. Belfast – 107,11%

8. Cardiff – 95,84%

9. Bristol – 85,84%

10. Sheffield – 78,46%

Obviously, some of these cities will experience growth from a small base, but it’s also worth noting that many of them have installed active travel champions, such as Simon O’Brien in Liverpool and Chris Boardman. in Greater Manchester.

Boardman, the city-region cycling and walking champion, said: “During the lockdown, the roads were quieter and people felt safer.

“Now we must allow them to continue to travel on foot and by bicycle, as part of their daily routine.

“The data we receive from Strava Metro helps us better understand where, when and why people cycle and walk. This type of data is invaluable when making decisions about the development of a future infrastructure. ”

According to data from Strava Metro, May 2020 was the peak month for growth in the number of cyclists, ahead of lockdown restrictions which are expected to be relaxed, with low levels of car traffic helping to encourage people to get in the saddle.

So far, data from Strava Metro, which helps identify routes where infrastructure is needed most, among other things, has been made available to transport planners and city authorities for a fee.

By providing the data for free from now on, Strava hopes to help accelerate the growth of sustainable travel after the pandemic, with Mark Gainey, its co-founder and president, commenting, “We always believed there were special ways. through which the Strava community could contribute to the world as a whole. Strava Metro was one of those ways.

“And given the growing need for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, we felt that Strava Metro was too valuable and too important not to be made available to an organization trying to make a difference in the design of cities of the future. .

London Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way Londoners think about travel, and we are working to make cycling easier and safer for everyone, so to avoid car-caused recovery and to ensure air quality improvements made during containment are not lost.

“Strava Metro has played an important role in improving the way we understand and expect cycling in London, and underlines the shift to sustainable modes of transport.

“By making this data available for free, cities can use it to plan improvements that will allow more people to walk, cycle and stay active.”

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