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Check out the top UK cities for cycle commuters, according to Strava

Joe Robinson
20 Nov 2019

The northwest lags behind as Bristolians lead the way

The southwest city of Bristol has been ranked number one for cycling commuters in the UK while Liverpool placed last. New research by cycling app Strava found Bristol to have the most cycle commuters per 1,000 people with a total of 28.9. It comfortably beat Newcastle (20.8) and Southampton (16.4) into top spot.

Despite having the highest total of commuters by bike, London lagged behind when compared to other cities only managing sixth with 11.9, finishing below both Leeds (14.6) and Cardiff (14.5). Birmingham saw the biggest year-on-year increase of cycling commuters, 10.8%, 

All, however, outperformed the two major northwest cities, Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester, the city in which Chris Boardman is now commissioner of cycling and walking, only registered 7.7 cycle commuters per 1,000 people, while Liverpool came bottom with 6.6 cyclists per 1,000.

The same data found that those between 35 and 55 were the most active commuting age group, followed by those between 20 and 35. It also found that Strava users offset 46.2 million metric tons of CO2 riding to work last year.

The research came as part of Strava Metro 3,0, a brand new tool that is allowing city planners the opportunity to analyse riding data in order to plan and improve infrastructure for those riding to work.

Using the riding habits of the 84 million global Strava users, it plans to underline urban areas that are being underfunded in terms of alternative infrastructure and to spark development.

The data has already been put into use in London with Transport for London's analysis lead, Louise Hall, confirming it had been utilised to improve signal timing across the capital.

'Strava Metro has been instrumental in improving how we understand and plan for cycling in London,' said Hall. 'We have used it to target our cycle-focussed signal timing reviews, leading to a reduction in cyclist wait times at junctions and improvements in the coordination of signals along Cycleways.

'The data has also been used to quantify the impact of these interventions and the shift towards sustainable modes of transport. It’s a unique dataset.'

For Strava UK manager Gareth Mills, the data being provided to local authorities could have a massive impact on issues such as obesity and pollution.

'If we’re serious about tackling climate change, air quality and the obesity epidemic, we need to improve the commuting experience across the UK,'  said Mills. 'The new Strava Metro 3.0 platform enables a wealth of information which local authorities can use to enhance infrastructure and keep us safe and motivated to ride or run to work.

'Renewing our partnership with TfL is evidence that our community data can be used for the benefit of everyone who strives for cleaner, safer cities.'

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