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Research suggests unsafe cycle routes prevent people from cycling

Joe Robinson
14 Nov 2017

Despite the majority of the British public being able to ride a bike, less than a third do so once a year or more

A survey conducted by dockless bike-sharing company ofo and YouGov has found that despite 93% of the British population being able to ride a bike, only 32% ride a bike more than once a year.

This latest research from ofo and YouGov produces telling figures that suggest the UK is struggling to get people cycling more often.

Of the 2,059 people who completed the representative online survey (a relatively small sample size), under a third of those that can cycle said they do so more than once a year, suggesting that segregated cycle lanes could help them choose the bike more often.

The survey found that 56% of those questioned indicated factors that would help them cycle more often, with segregated cycle lanes being by far the biggest factor.

This follows the same survey finding that 68% of people who can ride to work do not, due to concerns regarding safety on the road with 41% saying they feel vulnerable if unable to cycle in a segregated lane.

Encouragingly, 38% of British workers said they have cycled to work in the past, with the vast majority citing health and cost benefits as their reasoning.

This survey was commissioned by dockless bike-sharing company ofo who provide rentable bikes in four cities in the UK - Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich and London - with a view to offering a more sustainable mode of transport in some the UK's busiest cities.

UK operations director at ofo Joseph Seal-Driver, suggested that with increased cycling infrastructure alongside cycle hire schemes, more people could be riding than ever before.

'Advances in technology mean that cycling doesn’t have to be limited to those who own a bike, with the growth of both docked and dockless bike schemes making it easier than ever for people to get on two wheels,' said Seal-Driver.

'Yet despite the progress in recent years, there is still a huge untapped pool of potential cyclists out there, put off by safety concerns, busy junctions and a lack of infrastructure.

'The message to urban planners and local authorities is clear: we must make cycling safer, easier and more accessible – starting with segregated cycle lanes, safer routes and more options for cyclists.' 

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