The decline of cycling in the UK

In 2014, research was conducted which found that 90% of all UK journeys were carried out on the roads of Britain. On these roads, 83% of journeys were undertaken in a car, van or taxi – covering more than 600 billion kilometres over the course of the year.

Further figures showed that only 1% of road journeys were carried out by cyclists – this is a massive 13% decrease in the use of cycles since 1952. Specialists in bicycle accident claims, True Solicitors, evaluate the roads of the UK to give further insight into the decline of cycling:

Statistics across the UK

Out of the total people surveyed in the British Social Attitudes survey 2015, 3% said that they cycled daily. Surprisingly, 69% of participants claimed that they had never cycled before – this was 34 million people within the survey. This appears to be a direct indication of the clear lack of cyclists across the UK more generally. However, by analysing individual countries within the UK, the idea that Britain is uninclined to use a bicycle as a form of transport on our roads becomes clearer.

Cycling in Scotland

As little as 10% of participants in Scotland claimed that they cycled daily. As a means of transport, 3% of people aged over 16 used a bicycle 1 – 2 days a week. 2% used one 3 -5 days a week, and only 1% used a bicycle nearly every day of the week.

Cycling in England

The figures in England suggest that cyclists are using their bikes for recreational purposes rather than as a replacement for their cars. The overall picture in England is similar to Scotland, as 3% of participants (1.3 million) claimed that they cycled 5 times a week. This is less than the overall national average within the UK. The survey also found that 15% cycled at least once per month, which equates to 6.6 million people.

Cycling in Wales

Cycling in Wales appears to be more popular. 6% of those over the age of 16 suggested that they cycled 1 – 2 times a day in 2014-15 –  a comparative figure to those who cycled five times a week in England.

The exact reason behind the decline in cyclists on the roads is unknown. However, it could be due to the hazards that they face on the roads, such as poor road conditions and potholes. For Britain to see a rise in these figures, perhaps the safety of our roads should be addressed primarily.

Sources

http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics#How many people cycle and how often?

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/514912/road-use-statistics.pdf

https://www.rospa.com/media-centre/press-office/press-releases/detail/?id=1360

https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/cyclists/cycling-accidents-factsheet.pdf

https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/cyclists/cycling-policy-paper.pdf

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