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NEWS ROUNDUP: Cycling surge and HWRC extension



The number of trips recorded on West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect ‘off-highway’ cycling and walking routes increased by 60% during the last six months of 2020.

Figures also show that increases in active travel seen in West Yorkshire during the first phases of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020 have remained strong, even in the winter months.

November showed the most impressive results for the 2020 recording period, with a massive 126% increase in cycling trips. A total of 17,553 trips were made on these routes, where new or improved infrastructure have been built away from roads, in November 2020, compared with 7,765 trips in 2019.

Figures taken from automatic cycle counters along five key routes delivered by CityConnect show that from July to December 2020, a total of 140,408 trips were made on the off-highway infrastructure – up from 87,940 over the same period in 2019, or a 60% increase.

Of these off-highway trips a total of 50,741 were recorded over the weekend, representing  an 89% increase on the 26,790 weekend trips recorded for the same six-month period in 2019.

This boost in weekend journeys highlights the increased use of cycling and walking routes for leisure and exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic, and an indication that people are exploring their local areas more by foot and by bike in their leisure time.

The figures also confirm that the Combined Authority's aim to significantly increase active travel across the region, as set out in its Transport Strategy 2040 and the recently published Connectivity Infrastructure Plan, as well as in its response to the climate emergency, can be realised with the provision of suitable walking and cycling infrastructure.

The Combined Authority is working alongside a wide range of partners to ensure the Leeds City Region is a net zero carbon economy by 2038 and a key part of this will involve increasing levels of walking, cycling and use of public transport. The mid-term target is to see 300% more trips by bike by 2027.

Opening hours at all Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are set to be extended from next week and the number of slots available to book throughout the day at each site also increased, Leeds City Council has confirmed.

From Monday 29 March, each of the city’s eight HWRCs will be open for a further two hours a day from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week. With social distancing restrictions continuing to be in place at each site due to coronavirus, and to ensure a safe and quick experience for customers and staff, residents are still required to book a slot for a visit at this current time. As a result however of the extension in opening hours and overall increase in booking slots at each site, the amount available to residents will significantly increase by 80% to 3,600 a day (25,000 per week).

Residents can dispose for free at all Leeds HWRC sites items such as garden waste and unwanted household items such as broken furniture/beds, electrical goods, white goods, mattresses and toys. To book a slot, or to find out more about our HWRCs please see: www.leeds.gov.uk/recycling

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