The annual cycle count was completed in May of this year. The results can be found in .pdf form here.
The count is up 8-9% on last years count but is 10% below the count in 2011.
Compared to 2008, the count is up 18%. If the Deeside Line is excluded, the increase is only 12%.
The proportion of female cyclists was 17%, similar to previous years.
There has undoubtedly been growth in cycling since 2008 but overall the growth has been modest.
The three-year averages highlight the uneven pattern since 2008:
– Growth has focused on just a few of the sites – the Deeside line and King St most notably, and to a lesser extent on the North Deeside Rd and on Auchmill Rd.
– Most of the other seven sites have seen little or no growth
– One site has seen an actual decrease – Queens Rd (near Hazlehead). This must raise serious issues about the quality of the Westhill cycle route. We would have expected the Westhill cycle route to have raised cycling levels on this corridor so the count supports ACFs view that further work is required to bring the whole route up to a good standard.
It is notable that the sites in Aberdeen that have recorded the largest increases since 2008 are on corridors that have decent cycle provision. The Deeside line has benefited from progressive improvements and so too has the on road cycle lane along North Deeside Road. King Street has decent stretches of continuous on road cycle provision in both directions, especially along its central section. Auchmill Road is harder to decipher, but our count shows almost half using the pavement which does provide a continuous route with few interruptions. With this now re-classed as shared use, we shall see how this impacts on future counts.
The experience of the successful routes needs to be applied more widely; more routes that provide continuous and direct provision, without being fragmented or continually losing priority; allocation of road space to cycling that is made free of parked cars; more effort to improve cycle safety at junctions and pinch points; and a city centre welcoming to cycling.