'It's really frustrating' - post-lockdown bike shortages hit people in the West Country

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Demand for bicycles is the highest it has been for years - meaning shortages for customers and manufacturers across the South West.

Sales rose during lockdown as people chose to get on their bikes to take their daily exercise.

As well as becoming one of the nation's favourite pastimes, bikes have also become a popular way for people to return to work as offices reopen.

Cycling clubs have never been more popular Credit: ITV West Country

Demand for bikes has rocketed and in 2020 an estimated extra one million adults and one and a half million children took up cycling.

That led to a 50% rise in sales compared to the previous year - and this year, the increase is expected to be even higher at around 80%.

The upsurge in demand is a global one and that's led to supply shortages.

Renee Watson has been trying to buy an electric bike since June - but without success. 

He said: "It's really frustrating because I want to be going on a bike, I want to be doing the right thing for me, the right thing for the environment, and not being able to means I have to either get in my car.

"Often I end up getting in the car because I cut time too fine to be able to walk so that's not great really, it's really frustrating."

Cycling is so popular now there's even a shortage of bikes. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Bicycle Association says it is working with suppliers to try to alleviate shortages but says it could take the rest of the year before the situation is back to what it was before the pandemic.

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