Statistics highlight long term cycling growth

10.25 | 15 May 2019 |

Image: DfT

The number of miles cycled on roads in Great Britain has risen by a third in the last 25 years, new DfT statistics reveal.

Road traffic estimates for 2018, published on 14 May, show that 3.3bn miles were cycled last year – 33.7% more than recorded in 1993.

Looking at shorter term trends, the number of miles cycled in 2018 increased year-on-year by 1.8% – with the total 6.4% higher than five years ago.

However, the DfT says year-to-year changes in cycle traffic can be ‘volatile’ due to factors such as the weather, so long-term changes are more reliable indicators of underlying trends.

Breaking down the 2018 cycling figures, 60% of the miles travelled (2bn) were on minor urban roads – with 22% (0.7bn) on minor rural roads.

Cars continue to dominate
In total, the DfT figures show 328.1bn miles were travelled on roads in Great Britain in 2018 – a slight year-on-year rise of 0.3%.

The majority of these (78%) were carried out by cars – with 255bn miles representing the highest annual estimate on record.

In terms of motorised traffic, the biggest rise in the number of miles travelled in 2018 was by vans – up 0.9% to 55bn miles.

However, there were falls in the number of miles travelled by motorcyclists (down 0.9% to 2.7bn) and buses (down 4.7% to 2.3bn).

The decline in the number of miles travelled by buses continues a long-term downward trend – with 26.8% fewer miles travelled than a decade ago.

Looking at road type, ‘A’ roads accounted for 148.6bn miles, followed by minor roads (110.5bn) and motorways (69bn).



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