Bike Life, which is claimed to be the largest survey looking at attitudes to cycling in the UK, suggests that 75% of people want the government to invest more in order to make cycling safer.
The research, commissioned by transport charity Sustrans, questioned 11,000 people across seven UK cities to gather views about cycling and find out what would encourage more people to try two-wheeled travel.
It revealed that those questioned wanted on average £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually, as part of the £300 per person currently spent on transport.
The study is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, which Sustrans claims has helped to make Denmark’s capital one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. The results suggest that even people who don’t ride a bike recognise the importance of building bike lanes and funding other projects to boost cycling.
The survey reveals that 71% of those who said they never use a bike still backed an increase in expenditure, rising to 87% among those frequently riding a bike. Support was consistently high across all demographics, including older people aged over 75 years who are the least likely to ride a bike.
Around three quarters of those surveyed (73%) think that ‘things would be better’ if people cycled more and two thirds (67%) said that more cycling would make their area a better place to live and work.
Jason Torrance, policy director at Sustrans, said: “People want governments to spend more, and say that they would cycle more if it were safer. Now governments must close this gap between current spending and public demand.
“Physical inactivity, congestion and declining air quality cost our economy billions. Governments must act to secure a greater share of current transport investment for cycling and walking.
“The Spending Review in November and the devolved elections next May are perfect opportunities to do just that. Government must ensure the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is ambitious and guarantees long-term funding for active travel.”