Cycling growing in popularity in Burnley

The number of people who cycle at least once a week in Burnley has almost doubled.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 4:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 4:41 pm
Despite rising in Burnley, the number of cyclists has not increased across England as a whole.

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

In Burnley there were 302 respondents, who answered questions about their travel habits between November 2016 and November 2017.

Of those, 9% said they cycled at least once a week, which is a 95% increase on the previous 12 months.

However it is below the England average of 12%.

Out of Burnley's respondents, 4% 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 6% of people cycling at least once a week for fun, while 5% commuted by bike.

Despite rising in Burnley, the number of cyclists has not increased across England as a whole.

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% 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.”

Burnley 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%. Bradford has the lowest, less than 5%.