LEICESTER people are being encouraged to take to their bikes on Thursday for Cycle To Work Day – with free coffee and prizes on offer for participants.
Despite many people working from home at the moment, the popularity of cycling has grown in Leicester during the coronavirus lockdown. And on Thursday 6 August, anyone can take part in Cycle To Work Day by cycling anywhere they like, at any time of the day, for any reason.
Leicester City Council’s walking and cycling team is also offering rewards and incentives for taking part in the day. Cycle the length of your commute (minimum one mile) and then take a photo of yourself with your bike. Share the picture on social media with a message explaining what you love about cycling and the hashtag #C2WDLeicester. The team will choose a winner who will receive a goodie bag including bike lock and lights.
You can also earn a virtual Cycle To Work Day 2020 medal and lots of reward points through the free Betterpoints app. Show your medal on your smartphone to staff at the Town Hall Bike Park on Thursday and you’ll get a ticket for a free takeaway drink from Leicester Coffee House, in Granby Street, which you can redeem at any time until 13 August.
Ten cyclists who take part on the day will also be chosen at random to receive 5,000 extra Betterpoints each, which can be turned into £5 worth of high street vouchers for spending, or can be donated to charity. There’s another chance to win 5,000 Betterpoints if you incorporate one of Leicester’s new pop-up cycle lanes in your route, as part of a weekly competition.
June 2020 saw an 11 per cent increase in cycling across the city compared to June 2019, with an increase of 18 per cent in cycling numbers during week commencing July 13, 2020.
Around 11 miles of temporary pop-up cycle routes were installed over 10 weeks as part of Leicester City Council’s Covid-19 transport recovery plan, to provide commuters with safer, wider, segregated cycle lanes an alternative to using public transport, and also to encourage more people to use sustainable forms of transport.
Deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “We know that many people will be missing out on their usual commute at the moment – which is why Cycle To Work Day is operating differently this year, giving everyone the chance to get involved.
“Key workers who needed to travel throughout the coronavirus lockdown benefitted enormously from our pop-up cycle lanes, linking large centres of employment with accessible, safe cycle routes – and we’ve recently published a Tube-style map showing all of these new routes.
“We’ve also helped more than 1,000 local people get cycling since the start of the national lockdown through Leicester Bike Aid, which has given 450 bikes to key workers and helped 700 people get their bikes checked and fixed.
“We hope that some of those who have cycled for leisure during the lockdown will feel confident to carry on, using our safe, segregated cycle lanes. Creating more everyday cyclists benefits the whole city: cutting congestion, improving air quality and improving the health of our residents.”
Cyclists who download the Betterpoints app can carry on being rewarded throughout the month, earning 10 entries into a competition to win a £100 Amazon voucher every time they cycle in August. You’ll also get double Betterpoints for any cycling activity recorded in August.
Cycle To Work Day is a national initiative, now in its ninth year, backed by charities and organisations including Cycling UK, Sustrans, British Cycling and Love To Ride. Find out more at www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/C2WD
For more information on cycling in Leicester, visit https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/cycling/
Notes to editors:
The city council’s Transport Recovery Plan, published at the end of May, sets out goals for helping the city’s economy to recover following the lockdown, while also meeting the city’s environmental objectives to improve air quality and encourage people to make more sustainable travel choices. Read more by clicking on 'key strategy documents' at: www.leicester.gov.uk/citymayor