With an estimated 16 million residents, Lagos is probably the most densely populated state in Nigeria. It’s underneath immense stress to move its big inhabitants. Based on a worldwide rating of mobility in cities, Lagos was ranked worst out of 60 cities the world over in 2022. Well-known for its visitors jams, Lagos has 40% of all of the automobiles registered in Nigeria.
Transport service high quality is thought to drive the public angle to and picture of a metropolis, which is vital to the advertising and marketing of a metropolis as a vacation spot or place for funding. Biking is likely one of the most cost-effective modes of transport. It might ease visitors gridlock and its related air pollution and environmental impacts, making town extra enticing as a vacation spot.
But biking continues to be marginalised in growing nations. This has stimulated tutorial analysis to grasp the adoption of biking infrastructure. However how nicely can biking work in a extremely urbanised state like Lagos?
As an tutorial researcher with a give attention to transport, training and monetary companies, I educate the advertising and marketing and promoting of those companies. To market biking as a sustainable mode of transport, I want to grasp the challenges, alternatives and prospects going through customers.
I discovered that quite a few fears and social pressures are holding again the uptake of biking – but even so there are rising teams of Lagosians championing the bicycle.
My analysis concerned ethnographic fieldwork, observations and interviews with cyclists and non-cyclists in Lagos.
I interviewed 28 members of biking golf equipment and 67 non-cycling contributors. The analysis additionally collected photographic proof of transport infrastructure, numerous actions organised to encourage biking, and the enterprise operations of biking golf equipment and start-ups.
Thematic evaluation of the information revealed three key challenges for establishing a tradition of biking in Lagos.
Three key findings
Private fears: That is concerning the means and willingness to cycle. I discovered that many adults don’t know learn how to journey a motorcycle and might’t think about themselves biking in Lagos. Some have been very reluctant to study and lots of felt it was unsafe and wouldn’t even encourage their youngsters to cycle. Gender discrimination was a major concern – girls are sometimes harassed and unfairly handled on the street. Street customers in Lagos could be very impatient, placing cyclists in danger.
Social points: These are broader challenges that hinder the adoption of biking. A lack of understanding of the advantages of biking is compounded by societal marginalisation – many individuals nonetheless really feel wealthy folks drive and poor folks cycle. Cyclists could don’t have any place to bathe or to soundly retailer their bicycles. Nonetheless, it’s vital to recognise the rising numbers of biking golf equipment in Lagos that present a secure biking setting and community and schedule group rides for budding cyclists. Metropolis Cyclers, Bikaholics, Greenhouse Bikers, Cycology and Cyclotron are among the greater biking golf equipment within the state. There are additionally charities, foundations and initiatives – like Women Bike Membership – supporting the expansion of biking.
Structural limitations: These challenges most frequently place duties on authorities to help biking infrastructure. The safety of cyclists in Lagos is put in danger due to a scarcity of cycle lanes, parking and routes.
Why biking issues
The well being advantages of biking have been nicely recognised. Lagos wants to advertise biking as a contributor for higher inhabitants well being.
Then there are the financial advantages of biking in a congested state like Lagos. Based on the previous everlasting secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Transport, Lagos is ready to lose US$21 billion month-to-month by 2030 because of time spent caught in visitors. Fewer automobiles on the roads would enable folks to be extra productive.
Lastly, biking advantages the setting. Street transport in Lagos – with the abundance of previous automobiles and excessive sulphur content material in imported fuels – is a major contributor to air air pollution. The World Financial institution estimates that at the very least 30,000 folks die yearly in Lagos because of air pollution – 11,200 of them untimely deaths.
Persons are more and more acutely aware of how their setting impacts their wellbeing. With Lagos excluded from the excellent world rating of bike-friendly cities, it wants to enhance its model positioning. The mega metropolis may assist change its picture as a spot the place folks wrestle to maneuver round by investing in sustainable modes of transportation.
What ought to be carried out
Consciousness of biking ought to be promoted, alongside elevated availability of bicycles for folks to make use of. With rental companies like Awa Bike offering bike sharing throughout instructional campuses and Thinkbikes providing electrical bicycles, there are enterprise alternatives for rising the variety of bicycles in Lagos. State authorities also can contemplate monetary help for individuals who could wish to purchase their very own bicycles, just like the Bike2Work Scheme within the UK.
Street customers ought to be made conscious of the rights of cyclists on the roads. Guaranteeing that streets have secure, steady area for pedestrian motion and devoted cycle tracks is a vital part of an entire cycle community.
By rising biking uptake and decreasing using motorised automobiles, the Lagos model may assist entice extra guests who’re eager to discover the state.