Cycle Counts, Glasgow City Centre

Over the last decade, Glasgow City Council has commissioned a count of cyclists and pedestrians entering and leaving the city centre. The graph below shows counts of cyclists moving into and out of the city centre based on this 2-day survey in the period 2009 - 2018.
Glasgow Cycle Cordon Count 2009 2018
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There has been a 111% increase in cycle trips into and out of the city over the period 2009 to 2018.  In 2018, the cordon survey counted 11,000 trips into and out of the city per day by bicycle. This figure represents a 22% increase in the number of cycle trips compared to the previous year. Between 2009 and 2018, cycle trips into and out of the city centre (as recorded by the cordon survey) increased on average by 12% per year.  

There are several factors that may explain this rise. Glasgow's Mass Automated Cycle Hire (MACH) scheme was launched in June 2014 just prior to the start of the Commonwealth Games. The scheme initially provided 400 bikes for public hire at 31 locations across the city and with additional temporary sites at 6 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venues. Since then extra cycle hire stations in the east and south of the city have been added, as well as new bikes in September 2017 and again in August 2018. In October 2015, the South West City Way opened providing a 2km segregated cycle route running north-south between Pollokshields and the Tradeston Bridge.  It is likely that the success of the cycle hire scheme, alongside improvements to infrastructure, will have contributed to the increased levels of cycling in Glasgow in recent years.

The travel to school section of this site also highlights trends in walking and cycling to school in Glasgow compared to other Scottish cities and in Glasgow compared to neighbouring local authorities.

Glasgow City Council has undertaken annual surveys since 2007 to evaluate the number of pedestrians and cyclists entering and leaving the city as part of the annual monitoring of active travel patterns. The data presented here are from 2009 onwards.  

A total of 35 sites form a cordon around the centre of the city - see map below - and are monitored between 6:00am and 8:00pm over two successive days each September. All pedestrian and cycle movement at these locations, to and from the city, are counted.

Illustration of the Cordon Count Recording Sites

Cycling cordon count map 2017

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Further information on the results of the 2018 Cordon Count survey can be found here.

Health benefits of cycling
In May 2013, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) published a study detailing the health economic benefits of cycle commuting into and out of the centre of Glasgow. This study was based on applying a Health Economic Analysis Tool (HEAT) for cycling - an online tool created by the World Health Organisation - to the cordon count data. In 2012, it was estimated that cycle commuting into the city centre was worth over £4 million in terms of reduced mortality; this is likely to be an underestimate of the health economic benefits because the model does not take account of reduced illness and other health benefits conferred by cycling. The GCPH briefing paper can be accessed here.

Other related resources

Trends in adult cyclists (and pedestrians) injured in road traffic accidents can be accessed here. The equivalent figures for child casualties are also available.

Glasgow City Council have a section of their website devoted to cycling in Glasgow, which includes: information about routes, cycle training, and local cycling organisations.  There is also an interactive map illustrating cycling facilities in the city. 

The most recent cycling plan for the city is Glasgow's strategic plan for cycling 2016-2025.

Previous policies and reports can also be accessed here: Glasgow Cycle Plan 2010 2020 and a summary of a Health Inequalities Impact Assessment of the Cycling Plan.

New publication:

In February 2020, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Cycling Scotland jointly published Cycling in Scotland: a review of cycling casualties, near misses and under-reporting.  This report combines analysis of reported cycling casualties in Scotland over a 23-year period from 1995-2018 alongside a literature review of under-reporting and near misses. 

Additional Resources

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