Cycling Participation Falls in England

Bradley Wiggins in Maillot Jaune
Photo: Getty

The Telegraph reports a decline in cycling popularity in England by 0.7% since the 2012 surge in participation following Wiggo’s Tour de France victory and Team GB’s medal haul at the London Olympics.

Researchers questioned more than 150,000 people by telephone about how regularly and for how long they walk and cycle either for leisure or “utility” purposes such as commuting for Sport England.  Just 43 per cent of people walk for ten minutes or longer at least once a week recreationally, and 47 per cent do so for other reasons, the survey found.  This level of activity falls way below the public health guidelines for activity and puts the health of thousands of people at risk.

This survey was carried out in England and it would be interesting to see if there is any correlation with figures in Scotland.  On a personal note, I cycled to an Aberdeen business yesterday and I couldn’t get a spot in the bike shed as it was full.  Never before have I seen this but it is a great sign that we are catching up with other areas when it comes to commuting by bike.  The very pleasing aspect of my short ride home was gliding past 2 miles of near stationary traffic trying to get out of Dyce.  The more of us who ride, the safer it will become.  One issue raised in the Telegraph article was the number of men riding compared to women:

 Whether women and children feel able to get on their bikes is a litmus test for how safe our roads really are for cycling; we must strive to reach a point where everyone, aged 8 to 80 and regardless of gender, feels safe enough to cycle on our roads.