New counter in Stornoway in a push to get us cycling more

Stornoway has become the latest centre in the push to promote cycling across the country.

The town joins Clydebank, Glasgow and Inverness, amongst others, with the installation of a Danish style digital cycle counter in Stornoway, the first of its kind in the Islands.

The counter was funded by a grant from the Scottish Government.

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Local authorities in each region and city taking part in the initiative will be working with Sustrans (Sustainable Transport) to produce reports capturing data on infrastructure, travel habits, public attitudes and the impact of cycling, due to be published in 2020 and 2022.

The high-visibility digital display in Stornoway will allow local residents and visitors to see the total number of cyclists that have passed the counter on that day and over the course of the past year.

The counter is one of a total of 12 across Scotland, which relay local cycle information to a master digital totem-pole displaying the counts outside the Scottish Government’s Victoria Quay office in Edinburgh.

The project is part of a portfolio of ideas which it is hoped will contribute to achieving the target of 10% of trips to be taken by bike by 2020.

Sustrans Scotland Head of Partnerships Andy Keba said: “We are committed to helping the Scottish Government realise the Active Nation vision by increasing investment in active travel.

“These innovative digital cycle counters will help illustrate that growing numbers of people are pedalling to their destination rather than driving.

“These cycle counters are a fantastic way to encourage residents and visitors to Stornoway to measure the impact of cycling in the local area.

“Choosing to cycle rather than taking the car not only helps reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change but also improves our health and well-being.”

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Better infrastructure for cycling is seen as key to keeping cities and towns moving, whilst improving health and economic vitality.

The Danish capital of Copenhagen is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world.

The Government there has invested over £35 per head each year on cycling and a network of segregated cycle routes on almost all main roads and bridges across the city since 2004.

In 2016, 41% of trips to work and education in the city were made by bike and 76% of Copenhageners feel secure when cycling.