Sarah Barth November 19 2017
Four out of five people want protected cycleways in cities, to improve safety even at the expense of other traffic.
The biggest assessment to date of the UK’s cities found that 78 per cent say they would like segregated infrastructure, and 69 per cent think more cycling would make their city a better place to live and work.
Bike Life, produced by the charity Sustrans, found that out of 7,700 people surveyed, most think that more space for cycling and walking or buses, as opposed to more space for cars, is the best way to keep their city moving, improve people’s health or air quality.
Sixty four per cent of the respondents would cycle more if on-road cycle routes physically separated from traffic and pedestrians were available.
Even people who said they never ride a bike still overwhelmingly support the provision of segregated bike routes (74%); for those cycling frequently this figure rose to 87%.
Currently, a total of just 19 miles of cycle lanes on roads, physically separated from traffic and pedestrians exist in six of the seven cities investigated: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle (excluding Birmingham where no data is available).
Only six per cent of the residents surveyed usually travel to and from work by bicycle and just 30% think cycling safety in their city is good.
Three-quarters (75 per cent) support more investment in cycling.
Bike Life also found that people cycling in the seven cities take up to 111,564 cars off roads each day. If these cars were lined up, this would equate to a 333 mile tailback – a distance greater than from Cardiff to Newcastle.
Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans said: “Bike Life shows that most people living in the seven cities say cycling is a good thing and are far more supportive of bold and ambitious plans for cycling than decision-makers often think. They want dedicated space for people on bicycles even when this means taking space away from cars.
“From Mexico City to Manchester, mayors around the world are waking up to the fact that their cities need to be designed around people, not motor vehicles and that investing in cycling is key to keeping their city moving, and improving health and economic vitality.