It is clear that more people are cycling in Great Britain than ever before. The steady rise in bike riders has coincided with an increased awareness of cyclists as road users, and the creation of safer areas and lanes for cyclists. There have been campaigns highlighting the importance of cycling safety and awareness, and more cycling-centric things like shops, riding clubs, cafes, events, websites, chat rooms, and cycling-friendly roads then there has been before. Along with the campaigns and infrastructure, brands like Proviz have continued the trend to ensure cyclist safety. As bike technology advances, so too does the clothing and accessories for bike riders, with Proviz leading the pack. It is clear that the U.K. has truly embraced cycling as a popular past time and mode of transport.
The CTC Cycling Statistics have found that 43% of the population owns or has access to a bicycle, and that 8% of the population (around 3 million) cycle 3 or more times a week. It might not seem like much, but the increase in urban areas has been quite substantial, with cycle use on main roads over the 2012/13 financial year being 176% higher than in 2000. Along with this, 741,000 people use a bicycle as their main form of transport for getting to work in England and Wales, up by 90,000 from 2001. The data collected, mainly through the National Travel Survey and the Consensus, points to a definite increase in bicycle use. It’s not just the amount of people cycling either, it is also the mileage clocked by cyclists, which is up 20% over the last 15 years, to about 5.1 billion kilometres in 2013.
Not only do these increases in cycling point towards a welcome improvement in health and wellbeing, they also show that people aren’t relying on cars to get them around, which in turn has a positive impact on the environment. It’s really a win-win!
We have definitely come a long way, but statistics still show that we are lagging behind most other EU countries. The Dutch cycle the most, unsurprisingly, with 43% of the population saying they cycle every day. Malta, however, is right at the bottom, with a massive 93% of people saying that cycling is something they never do. It is by no means a competition, but this really shows how far the U.K. has come with embracing cycle culture and how much further we can go!