2015 - The Year in Cycling
2016 is in full swing and by now everyone should have (hopefully) recovered from their new year festivities. Now is the time that people look back on the year that was, with 2015 proving to be a great year for cycling. We’ve put together a rundown of last year’s cycling stats, as well as a quick look at how we stacked up to the rest of Europe.
The Department for Transport did a survey on walking and cycling statistics in the UK and came up with some interesting results. Unsurprisingly, walking was much more popular, with 47% of people walking at least 5 times a week, while those who cycled at least 5 times a week was only 3%. The numbers jumped up to 9% when people were asked if they cycled at least once a week.
It might not seem like much, but with 9% of people cycling weekly and the current population sitting at around 64 million, it means that approximately 5,760,000 people are hitting the road at least once a week. When you look at it that way, there’s a very high number of Britains cycling at any given time, making road and cycle safety all the more important.
Many people still feel that cycling is a dangerous exercise, with 67% of non-cyclists in Britain feeling that it’s too dangerous to cycle on the roads; and very nearly half (48%) of those who do cycle sharing this view. But when you crunch the numbers it doesn’t seem so dire, with the general risk of injury while cycling in Great Britain at just 0.05 injuries per 1,000 hours of cycling. While this means your risk is low, these figures highlight the importance of wearing protective gear such as helmets and high visibility jackets.
Cycling in the UK has been on the up since 2008, with more and more people taking to their bikes, whether that be for the everyday commute or the occasional joy ride. With the constant and steady increase, it’s not surprising that bicycle sales in the UK are still on the up, with figures showing that bicycle sales were around 1 million more than motor cars sales.
So it’s fair to say that as a nation we are cycling more and more each year, but we are also cycling longer distances. The average cyclist travelled 58 miles over the course of the year, and the average length of a cycle trip was 3.1 miles. It might not seem like much, but when you look at the average cycle trip and think about nearly 6 million people cycling at least once a week, that means that British cyclists travelled over 18 million miles in just one week. Now that’s impressive.
How the UK stacks up in Europe:
As you might have guessed, The Netherlands are still leading the pack when it comes to cycling rates in Europe. For all journeys taken in 2015 on all modes of transport, cycling made up 27% in The Netherlands. Denmark was the next highest cycling country, with 19% of all journeys taken being by bicycle. Third in line was Germany, with 10%. In the UK on the other hand, cycling only made up 2% of all journeys taken.
In the same report from The Netherlands Ministry of Transport, they also looked at the emotions commonly associated with cycling. While the highest percentage of emotions associated with public transport were aversion, sadness, and anger, the emotion experienced 70% of the time from cyclists was joy. If that’s not a reason for us to keep on cycling, we don’t know what is.