More than one million trips have been recorded on the CityConnect Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway, according to official figures released this week.
The 23km cycle superhighway aims to encourage more people to cycle and walk between Leeds and Bradford.
As of the end of June 1,065,300 trips had been recorded on the cycle superhighway since it opened in summer 2016, with usage increasing by 15% in 2018/19 compared to the previous year.
According to automated cycle counters located at different points on the superhighway, Armley Road has been the busiest site on the cycle superhighway with an average of more than 8,000 trips being made per month.
Numbers continue to increase year-on-year, with a 3% rise in usage between April and June compared to the same period in 2018.
The figure come despite scepticism on social media surrounding the success of the multi-million pound project.
One Facebook user said about the project:
“Rubbish. Someone can’t count or the figures are just spin. Maybe they were watching the Tour de France ad multiplying by 100. The lane’s always empty when I drive past every morning.”
But another added:
“My 16-year-old uses it every day to cycle to his apprenticeship in Armley. I feel much safer with him in this cycle lane.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“This is a big milestone for the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway and it’s great to see year-on-year growth in in the number of trips being made on the route, but this is just the beginning.
“Two-thirds of journeys made by West Yorkshire residents are under five miles. With Public Health England estimating 1 in 20 deaths in West Yorkshire are attributable to air pollution, the case for making more of our journeys by bike, on foot and on public transport has never been stronger.
“We know encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individual’s money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits for us all, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.”
Leeds City Council’s Cycling Champion Cllr Peter Carlill (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) said:
“These routes play a major part in our long-term Leeds Cycling Starts Here ambition in providing safe routes right across the city to allow more people to make the switch to cycling and get the many benefits it offers.”
Since resurfacing works on the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath between Kirkstall and Shipley in spring 2016 overall usage has increased, including during last winter with usage between December 2018 and February 2019 showing a 40% increase on the year before.