75% want greater investment in cycling

A survey looking at attitudes towards cycling in the UK, has found that 75% of people want the government to invest more in order to make cycling safer. The ‘Bike Life’ survey conducted by transport charity Sustrans, questioned 11,000 people across seven UK cities to gather views on cycling and find out what would encourage greater numbers to take up riding a bike.

The study is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, which Sustrans has claimed helped to make Denmark’s capital one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. The results suggest that even people who don’t ride a bike recognise the importance of building bike lanes and funding other projects to boost cycling.

The government currently spends £300 per person on transport, and the survey revealed that those questioned wanted an average of £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually. The survey also showed that 71% of those who don’t use bikes, still back an increase in expenditure. Support for the increase was consistently high across all age groups, including those over 75 who are least likely to ride a bike.

Jason Torrance, policy director at Sustrans, said: “People want governments to spend more, and say that they would cycle more if it were safer. Now governments must close this gap between current spending and public demand.

“Physical inactivity, congestion and declining air quality cost our economy billions. Governments must act to secure a greater share of current transport investment for cycling and walking.

“The Spending Review in November and the devolved elections next May are perfect opportunities to do just that. Government must ensure the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is ambitious and guarantees long-term funding for active travel.”