A new survey commissioned by Sustrans has found that the majority of British people want more money spent on cycling. "Bike Life" is claimed to be the biggest survey ever conducted on attitudes to cycling in the UK, and shows that three quarters of people want more government investment in making cycling safer. The survey has been released ahead of the Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review, due on 25th November.
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.”
The Bike Life Survey asked about the travel habits and opinions of thousands of people across seven UK cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle.
The report is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, conducted every two years, which the Danish city uses as part of its planning process. (Copenhagen has built 3kms of bicycle lanes every year since 1905.)
Copenhagen has produced the reports since 1996. As a result 45% of journeys to work, school and university are now made by bike in the Danish capital. Sustrans believes that UK cities have the potential to achieve the same.
Bike Life was produced in association with seven cities across the UK and revealed that the 11,000 people questioned wanted on average £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually, as part of the £300 per person currently spent on transport. Each city has produced its own version of the Bike Life survey. The one for Newcastle reveals that the number of cycling trips in the city increased by 12 percent between 2013 and 2014
Sustrans claims that "even people who don’t ride a bike recognise the importance of building bike lanes and funding other projects to boost cycling."
71 percent of those who said that they never used a bike still backed an increase, rising to 87 percent among those frequently riding a bike. 73 percent think that things would be better if people cycled more
ICM Unlimited carried out the survey and interviewed a representative sample of 11,016 adults aged 16+, ensuring at least 1,100 were questioned in each city. (Greater Manchester had 4,000 respondents.).