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Opposition to bike lanes overestimated by 50%, study shows

Will Strickson
24 Nov 2020

Research by YouGov revealed 56% supported schemes including new bike lanes

People overestimate the general public's opposition to bike lanes by more than 50%, research has shown.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Cycling UK surveyed over 2,000 people across the country and found that over 50% more people thought the public were opposed to schemes including new bike lanes than actually were.

The study showed that 56% supported government schemes to encourage more walking and cycling – including new cycle lanes – while 19% were against them.

However, when asked whether they thought the public supported such schemes 29% believed people were generally opposed, over 50% more than the actual opposition.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK's head of campaigns said of the results: 'Too many councils are overestimating the opposition to these schemes and overlooking the evidence.

'In recent months Cycling UK has seen multiple reports of people claiming there is widespread opposition to the building of new bike lanes, but this and other surveys shows there's nothing widespread about it – just a small number of loud voices.'

Transport Secretary Grant Schapps had similar sentiments when announcing £175m of extra funding for cycle and walking infrastructure in England, saying: 'Consultation should include objective tests of public opinion, such as scientific polling, to cut through the noise and passion schemes can generate and gather a truly representative picture of local views.'

This concern follows recent developments in Kent where a third of new active travel schemes have been removed due to vocal opposition.

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