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Cluster Analysis of Daily Cycling Flow Profiles during COVID-19 Lockdown in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Matt BurkeORCiD, Dr Dilum Dissanayake, Professor Margaret Carol Bell CBE



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting government-enforced lockdown affected the travel behavior and lives of people worldwide. In this research, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) is used to quantify the impact on daily flow profiles of cyclists due to the public’s response to different levels of restrictions during a 6-month period of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. An inductive loop network in Tyne and Wear, the UK provided cycle flow data from 25 sites. A paired sample t-test was carried out between the “Pre-COVID-19” baseline year and 2020 to determine how cycling volumes changed at each site. )e HCA was then performed on the diurnal hourly flow profiles to observe how they changed within the same time period. Finally, the relationship between diurnal flow profile and volume was assessed. Overall cycling volume in the study area increased by 38% during the lockdown. )e highest increases were found at coastal sites, with more modest increases in suburban areas and reduced volumes at city center locations. )e HCA of the diurnal flow profiles revealed that locations associated with noncommuting-shaped flows witnessed the largest increases while commuting profiles saw a decrease. As lockdown restrictions eased, flow profiles began to revert back to the prepandemic norm but never fully returned to prepandemic levels. )e adoption of working from home postpandemic will change commuting behavior. )e conclusions drawn from this study suggest consideration of noncommuting trips should be made when planning the design and location of future cycling schemes, and the HCA of flow profiles can assist in this decision-making process as a method to quantify changes in daily flow profiles of cycling

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burke M, Dissanayake D, Bell M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Advanced Transportation

Year: 2022

Volume: 2022

Online publication date: 19/05/2022

Acceptance date: 23/04/2022

Date deposited: 19/05/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2042-3195

Publisher: Hindawi Limited


DOI: 10.1155/2022/4217431


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