Bike Life, a huge survey, claiming to be the biggest every looking at attitudes to cycling across the UK, has found that 75% of people want there to be further investment in cycling safety from the government. The research was commissioned by Sustrans, the transport charity, and it looked at data given by people from across seven selected cities in the UK.
The data was collected from 11,000 people and involved a wide range of questions looking at their views on cycling and what may encourage more people to give cycling a go in their city, if they weren’t already regularly cycling. The research found that the participants (on average) wanted £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually, as part of the £300 which is currently spend per person on transport.
Sustrans commissioned the study using the Copenhagen Bicycle Account as a basis, as Copenhagen is known as a very safe cycling city and cycling is extremely popular there, with the latest Account showing that almost 50% of people working or studying in the city using bicycles to get there. In the UK things are very different as even people who regularly cycle are not fully aware of the importance of things such as bicycle lanes and other initiatives for boosting cycling across the country.
The study found that 71% of those who never cycle still believed there should be an increase in spending and this rose to as much as 87% amongst those who cycle frequently. All demographics believed that more needed to be spent and this should put renewed pressure on the government to take steps to work with popular demand.
Cycling for a Better City
73% of those questioned in the survey said that ‘things would be better’ if there were more people cycling and 67% said that an increase in cycling would make where they lived a better place to be. The main thing to take away from this study is that investment is crucial and policy director at Sustrans, Jason Torrance, stated ‘governments must close this gap between current spending and public demand.’
There are plenty of opportunities coming up for the government to commit to changes including November’s Spending Review.
Roads around the UK need to be safer for cyclists and this could mean changes in infrastructure to the development of more cycle lanes to simple awareness and education programmes for drivers and cyclists alike.
You can view the whole Bike Life survey here.