Cost of living leads to ‘surge’ in cycling

08.17 | 4 August 2022 |

Richard Jewell with his bike

Cycling UK is urging local authorities to act now and provide the infrastructure to make active travel a ‘realistic option for everyone’.

Data published to coincide with Cycle to Work Day (4 Aug) shows cycling levels in England have ‘surged’ this year – up by 47% on weekdays and 27% on weekends.

Cycling UK says the rise has been simultaneous with the hike in fuel prices, strongly suggesting people want to cycle more for many reasons, including to save money.

It is calling on local authorities and employers to do more to help people drive less and cycle more, particularly for shorter journeys.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “Rising fuel prices have triggered some people to think about their transport choices, switching some of their car journeys to cycling. But too many people don’t feel like they have that option because they don’t think our roads are safe enough to cycle on. 

“The answer to that is more and better infrastructure for cycling and walking, giving more people the opportunity to do so safely rather than defaulting to driving a short trip to work or the shops.  

“With 71% of all journeys made in the UK under five miles, switching some of those to cycling is a simple way to help people make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis, with additional health, wellbeing and environmental benefits.”

As part of Cycle to Work Day, Cycling UK is encouraging people who have opted to cycle more due to fuel price rises to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #DriveLessCycleMore.

Someone to have done so is Richard Jewell from Northamptonshire.

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed cycling for leisure, but I find utility cycling – riding with a genuine purpose – particularly satisfying. 

“It saves money, is kinder to the environment, usually takes barely any longer than driving, and turns a mundane task into a mini adventure.”

Cycling UK’s data shows between March and July this year, weekday cycling levels were 47% higher, and on weekends and holidays 27% higher, when compared to the same time in 2021.



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