A new study has found only 7% of UK residents cycle to work, with many non-cyclers citing concerns over safety as a deciding factor.
The Decathlon Activity Index 2018, a survey of more than 7,600 adults aimed at tracking rates of participation in various sport activities across the UK, found that 26% of respondents said the UK’s roads were too dangerous to cycle regularly and 21% of respondents said they were too scared to cycle to work through traffic. Another 21% said their place of work was too far from their home to feasibly commute on a bicycle; while 14% said they simply did not enjoy cycling and 17% did not own a bicycle.
Philippe Rebelo, UK marketing director at Decathlon, a sports equipment retailer, said: “It is clear to see that not many of us actually choose to commute to our workplace with a bicycle. This is despite the Government increasing the spend on cycling, with improvements for cycle to work schemes and even overhauls of roads in cities to accommodate cyclists. There are many advantages of cycling to work that people seem to be missing out on – commuting to work via a bicycle is a great way to form a healthier lifestyle, it is cheaper and is better than other options. Even better, those without a bike can get one via the government’s bike to work scheme – and there are a number of bikes that can be rented in UK cities too. It is extremely inexpensive in the long run as you only need a bike, lights and a helmet and you’re off.”
The UK government has launched a £1.2bn (€1.36bn) scheme aimed at increasing cycling uptake, including measures to improve existing cycling infrastructure and reduce road accidents involving cyclists; as well as ‘cycle to work’ promotion initiatives. The cities of Cambridge, Manchester and London have taken “drastic” action to improve their municipal cycling facilities.