Cycling is becoming less popular in Lancashire

One in 10 people in Lancashire cycle at least once a week, figures show.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 12:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 12:56 pm
Cyclists on the Guild Wheel in Preston photographed by Marco Mura

The Department for Transport has released the results of an annual survey which reveals how often people cycle in England.

In Lancashire there were 4,284 respondents, who answered questions about their travel habits between November 2016 and November 2017.

Of those, 10 per cent said they cycled at least once a week. This is below the England average of 12 per cent.

Cycling is becoming less popular in Lancashire. The survey suggests 10 per cent fewer people are cycling at least once a week, compared with 2015-16.

Out of the respondents, four per cent were keen cyclists and used their bike at least three times a week.

The survey found cycling for leisure was more popular than for travel, with eight per cent of people cycling at least once a week for fun, while five per cent commuted by bike.

Nationally the number of cyclists has not increased over the last year.

Xavier Brice, chief executive of Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, said: “It is disappointing to see that levels of cycling have not changed nationally or regionally compared to previous years.

“Cities with well-established cycling cultures such as Cambridge and Oxford unsurprisingly record the highest prevalence for cycling at least once a week.

“This confirms what is already widely known – that good quality cycling infrastructure combined with behaviour change programmes is responsible for increased cycling uptake.

“Protected cycling infrastructure also helps break down a barrier for those people who don’t cycle because of safety reasons, a number one concern according to the data.”

The charity Cycling UK appealed to ministers to make cycling attractive to everybody, and not “just a small segment of society”.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns, said: “The Government has just closed its consultation on cycle and pedestrian safety, and now we need them to urgently publish their findings and take immediate action.

“Its own statistics published today show that 60 per cent of adults admit they feel it’s too dangerous to cycle on the road, and in particular women and older people are put off cycling by those fears.

“Although cycling is statistically much safer than many people think, it’s clear the Government has to address the key issues of infrastructure, such as improving roads and cycle lanes, and making sure our traffic laws operate effectively to promote road safety for everyone.”

A DfT spokeswoman said: “We are carrying out a review to look at ways of improving all elements of cycle safety.

“We are also investing £1.7bn through the Transforming Cities Fund, to connect communities and support active and sustainable travel.”

Lancashire has a lower proportion of cyclists than the North West does on average.

Across the country unsurprisingly Cambridge has the highest percentage of people who cycle at least once a week, 54 per cent. Bradford has the lowest, less than five per cent.