Fear over road safety are stopping people from cycling more often, according to a new government report.
Though the number of trips undertaken by cyclists have fallen by just eight per cent in 15 years, the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey found that more people would be heading out on two wheels if it weren’t for concerns about safety while on the public road.
In 2002, the average person got on their bike 17 times a year for a total of 39 miles, and this fell to 16 times a year in 2017, although the total distance grew by 35 per cent to 60 miles.
However, three-fifths of adults admitted that they felt it was too dangerous to cycle on the roads. This was more apparent in older people, with 68 per cent of people aged between 55 and 64 agreeing that they wouldn’t get out and about on two wheels because of safety concerns.
It has prompted safety charity Cycling UK to urge the government to respond to the growing public fear of cycling.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “Although cycling is statistically much safer than many people think, it’s clear the government has to address the key issues of infrastructure, such as improving roads and cycle lanes, and making sure our traffic laws operate effectively to promote road safety for everyone.”
The survey incorporated interviews with household members and a one-week travel diary. Some 16,000 individuals in 7,000 households in England take part in it each year, although the number that are cyclists is said to be small.
Road safety concerns were the most common reason for people not cycling more, coming ahead of not owning a bike or finding the journey quicker and easier by car.
In 2016 – the most recent year for which figures are available – 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in the UK. This included 102 who were killed and 3,397 who were seriously hurt.