The figures are based on automatic cycle counters located at over 300 sites on cycle routes (both traffic-free and along highways), including the National Cycle Network.
Full details of the analysis, some of which has comparative data going back to 1998, will be published early in 2003. The final report, when complete, is predicted to show an upward trend in cycle use overall with a greater degree of increase on National Cycle Network routes.
Sustrans predicts the report will contradict Department for Transport figures that are based on the National Travel Survey that show a general decline in cycling. Sustrans believes this is because of the way data are collected for the National Travel Survey that does not take account of the popular traffic-free routes. A third of the
current 6,500 mile National Cycle Network consists of traffic-free routes.
Bike counter Dr Andy Cope of Sustrans said: "These figures are very encouraging and are proving that the commitment of our many local authority partners to the development of the National Cycle Network is paying off. Sustrans has always maintained that the combination of traffic-free paths and quiet minor roads that form the National Cycle Network would increase cycling, particularly by providing opportunities for new and less experienced cyclists. This is proving to be the case and the initiative will be making a significant contribution to meeting the government's target of trebling cycle use by