Across Europe, people who could not work from home ditched public transport and sought a safer commuting option in the form of the bicycle as soon as the pandemic struck the continent earlier this year. Governments moved to support the higher numbers of cyclists by introducing infrastructure such as bike lanes, traffic calming measures and car-free streets, though some of the initiatives were temporary. At least €1 billion has been invested in cycling throughout the pandemic in one of the few positive stories in the Covid-19 era. Unfortunately, though, it looks like the focus on infrastructure to support cyclists in Europe might just be temporary.
Data from the European Cyclists' Federation shows how the number of kilometers of cycling infrastructure planned around Europe took off in late April. By the middle of May, 500 km was announced as being implemented and that gradually grew to around 1,000km by the middle of July, where it has largely remained ever since. That also marks a period when the rate of European infections had fallen significantly, possibly prompting some governments to feel the worst of the pandemic was over. Unfortunately, Europe is now in the grips of a second wave and it remains to be seen if the number of projects planned to support cyclists climbs again during the winter months.