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Pop-up lanes prove a big hit with cyclists in Leicester

Cyclists in Leicester tell us the new pop-up lanes make them feel safer and more confident to use the roads.

BetterPoints is working with Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils to encourage the use of their new pop-up infrastructure and measure its impact.

Local people use the BetterPoints app to earn rewards for tracking their walking and cycling activities, and the councils use that data to improve the network and inform transport policy.

To do this, we geofenced the pop-up lanes – that is, we marked out their boundaries in our system. This means we can tell which segments of the lanes are being used – to within a few metres – as well as when, and how often, people are using them.

This use of geospatial data allows us to present contextual content or ecological momentary assessments (EMAs), providing invaluable feedback to the cyclists and the councils.

Geofencing the pop-up lanes allows us to track granular sections of each lane.
Our tracking algorithms tell us when and how often people use each section of each lane.

The response is very encouraging, with many cyclists saying they feel much safer on the roads:

"Made my normal routes for exercise and commuting much safer."
"The pop-up lanes have made cycling safer and is encouraging me to get out and cycle more. The lanes offer great protection for cyclists."
"It’s a big difference – you feel free on the roads and a lot safer, and you’re not annoying pedestrians."
"It’s brilliant! Cycling has always been quite hazardous, with cars driving over the cycle lanes and cars pulling out of parking spaces in front of you and stopping and manoeuvring in all directions! This lane will make cycling much safer. Please can it be permanent? Thank you 😊"

We’re also getting useful insights into some of the practicalities of pop-up lanes and their place in longer term infrastructure plans:

"The cones were often knocked into the path, making it like a slalom course. Near the shops, cars had totally ignored it – even with the big yellow signs – and parked across it. And the road surface is still terrible."
"It will be important to ensure that any longer-term plans actually work to join up the existing cycle paths to provide as seemless a cycle path experience as possible."

It’s great to hear of so much positive engagement with this pop-up initiative, and that Leicestershire’s approach is a good one:

"The pop-up lanes are a practical way for those less confident on a bike to commute along main roads into the city. They are also a visible reminder to drivers that there are more cyclists on the roads. Leicester City Council is to be applauded for the work already done with regard to cycling."
Whether you need to motivate people post-lockdown or prepare your workforce for new ways of working and travelling, we can help. BetterPoints has been at the forefront of technology-led behaviour change since 2010. We combine technology with data, incentives and insights for mobility, health & wellbeing and climate change.
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