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DfT stats show no growth in cycling

Posted on in Cycles News, Outdoor News

The Department for Transport's (DfT's) Local Area Walking and Cycling Statistics report revealed that there has been "no statistically significant change in reported cycling prevalence in England overall."

The Active People Survey, conducted annually by Sport England states that around 15 per cent of adults in England cycled at least once a month in 2014/15. Equivalent to around 6.5 million people - a similar level to previous years.

Whilst the figures have remained fairly stagnant in England as a whole, trends have emerged across regions. At one end of the scale are Cambridge and Oxford where 58 per cent and 43 per cent of people cycle at least once a month. At the other end, we is Burnley, where only five per cent of people ride that often.

Compared to 2014/15, Wandsworth saw the highest annual increase, rising to 31 per cent from 18 per cent the year before - thanks possibly to the addition of access to Cycle Superhighways 7 and 8.

Other than Wandsworth, South Norfolk and Barrow-in-Furness also saw major rises, by 25 per cent and 19 per cent. However, it doesn't need pointing out that these gains must of course be balanced out by drops elsewhere for levels nationwide to have remained the same.

When it comes to time spent in the saddle, about 3.4% of the population usually cycled for less than half an hour, 4.1% usually cycled for between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and a further 6.8% usually cycled for one hour or more. Recreational purpose cycling tends to make up a large chunk of those cycling for more than half an hour.

Recreational cycling is slightly more common than utility cycling, but in both cases levels drop away in the 16-24 and 25-34 age groups. There is then a peak in the 35-44 age category before a steady decline from then on.

A lower proportion of women cycle than men in all age groups. Overall, 20 per cent of men cycle compared to 10 per cent of women. The annual British Social Attitudes Survey found that a large number of people believe cycling is too dangerous for them and women were more likely to reach that conclusion than men to (71 per cent against 57 per cent).


Reader Comments (2)

It would be interesting to see any new statistics on the emerging e-bike market in the UK. It is growing rapidly but it has yet to be a significant part of the overall market.

Stephen Smyth, 14 Jul 2016

If the(new) government really wants to see an increase in people riding then it needs to consider incentives to businesses. I suggest that a business rate reduction could be used for businesses to promoted cycle to work. For example a % reduction for each additional 5% of staff riding to work for each month. Too simple but it could be refined and developed.

George Lidington, 14 Jul 2016

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