Research reveals cyclists’ trepidation

12.53 | 14 December 2010 |

Six in 10 people in England are deterred from cycling to work because they believe it is too dangerous to cycle on the roads, according to research commissioned by the DfT (

The figures are revealed in an interim report entitled ‘Climate Change and Transport Choices’, which was conducted by the consumer research firm TNS-BMRB on behalf of the DfT. Respondents also said that they would cycle more often if there were more cycle paths.

The report explores consumer attitudes and behaviour in relation to a range of transport options and environmental issues, and includes detailed analysis of people’s use of bicycles to get to work, with responses broken down by factors including gender, age, socio-economic group, household income and location.

Researchers found that approximately half of respondents either owned a bicycle or had regular use of one, but only one in four of those people cycled regularly (once a week or more). Although four in 10 bicycle owners lived within five miles of their place of work, only 5% of those who own a bicycle use it daily.

People aged between 40 and 59 are most likely to have access to a bike, but the research shows that although higher household income increases the likelihood of owning a bicycle and cycling infrequently (at least once a year), it made little difference to levels of regular cycling (at least once a week), or cycling to work on a regular basis.

Of those who did start cycling to work, two in three went back to using their car, and a drop-off in bike usage was also seen once commuting distance went beyond three miles. The average commute was nearly nine miles, at which point only 3% of people with access to a bike were using it to travel to their employment.

Click here to access the full DfT report.

Click here to read the full report.


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