The Dutch cycle more. They cycle more often and they cycle longer distances. But the modal share of cycling has been more or less stable for the last three decades at 27% of all trips. How can both these facts be correct? Time to dig into some of the cycling figures in the Netherland
Cycling in the cities increased with 12% from 2005 to 2016.
Before we get to the story for this post I’d first like to wish you all a very happy new year. May 2018 bring you good things and fulfil wishes and expectations. I will continue to try to bring you information about cycling in the Netherlands, the good and the bad, but always in a positive tone. This is the beginning of the tenth year that I will be making videos for you. When I published the first video, in January 2009, I never expected anything like the journey I’ve been on, but I like it a lot, so I do expect there will be a 10-year anniversary at the end of this year.
The Netherlands has a growing population of 17 million people. All together the Dutch own 22.5 million bicycles. This means that on average they own 1.3 bicycles per capita. More than any other country in the world. Runner up is – not surprisingly – Denmark, with 0.8 bicycles per Dane. Many people might think the Chinese cycle a lot too, but they own only 0.4 bicycles per person, just slightly more than the US with 0.3 bicycles per person. Not everybody has a bicycle though, not even in the Netherlands. The bicycles are owned by 84% of the Dutch. That means there are many people who have more than one bicycle.
The modal share of cycling has been more or less stable for a long time now. The figure is around 27% of all trips. However, that average is a result of not so stable extremes. In the cities cycling has increased a lot. The cycleways became noticeably busier after cycling increased by 12% since 2005. At the same time cycling decreased in the country side. The growing population and the increased use of motor vehicles are some other factors which make the final modal share figure deceptively stable.