Two thirds of cyclists feel unsafe on busy roads

A lack of dedicated cycling infrastructure is discouraging people from using bicycles as 61% say that cycling on the roads is too dangerous.

These are the results of the first wave of this year’s National Travel Attitudes Survey, released today, which asked UK citizens a range of questions related to mobility and behaviour.

It also found the number of respondents who agreed they were willing to switch to using a bike from a car for journeys under two miles has been steadily decreasing from 2006, falling to 36% this year.

The results come as a blow to the government who have a target of boosting the number of cycling journeys made in the UK from 800 million trips in 2013 to 1.6 billion by 2025, which now looks unlikely to be met.

Figures in last year’s National Travel Survey indicated that there were only 991 million cycling trips made in the UK in 2017 – a rate of increase well below the government’s target figure.

Charities such as Cycling UK have pointed out that cycling infrastructure needs to be more widely distributed to boost the number of UK cyclists, as well as community projects targeted at women and older people.

A DfT spokesperson said they want to make cycling and walking ‘the natural choice’ for short journeys.

‘This is why we’re investing around £2bn on active travel over the course of this Parliament – doubling spending per head compared to the last Spending Review period – to increase the number of journeys taken by bike or on foot, improve air quality, tackle congestion and reduce obesity.’

Despite the government’s cycling targets taking a hit, the number of people who have reported they never or rarely use a car for journeys under two miles has increased to 21%, hinting that people are willing to use other means of transport for short journeys.

42% of respondents to the NTAS this year said they would be willing to walk for a journey of less than two miles, while 37% agreed they would be willing to cycle.

However, only 31% said they would be willing to take the bus for journeys of this type, highlighting ongoing criticisms of the UK’s bus infrastructure.

The results of the National Travel Survey for 2018 are set to be published later this year.

Image credit: Tejvan Pettinger


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