Two wheels are proving increasingly more attractive than four with the number of cyclists on Britain's roads inching forward for the first time in years, Government figures showed today.
Between 1998 and 1999 there was a 5 percent increase in bicycle use, according to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
This contrasted sharply with an average fall in pedal power of 4% between 1995 and 1998.
The case for getting into the saddle was strengthened further by news that traffic levels continued to increase last year by 1.7 percent, slightly above the increase for the previous year.
However, before we all get carried away, the figures are only provisional and may be revised.
The statistics come from 'Traffic in Great Britain - First Quarter 2000'. All quarterly estimates are subject to revision, as they are based mainly on data from 132 automatic traffic counters in the road.
'Statistics Bulletin (00)6 Traffic in Great Britain - 1st Quarter 2000' is available from DETR, TSR2, Zone 1/29, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR. (Tel: 020 7944 3095).
The next quarterly bulletin in this series will be published in August and we'll see whether the trend for cycling is, indeed, up.