50 years to double current cycle use says CTC

If cycle growth continues as its current rate only by 2065 will it have doubled
The Government's latest statistics on cycle use show that it has crept up slightly since last year - and is now about 20% higher than 10 years ago. But at this rate it will take a very long time to catch up with our continental neighbours.

The rush of new Government transport statistics published on 21 May included an update on pedal cycle traffic.  This showed that cycle traffic rose from 5.0 bn-kilometres to 5.2 bn-km between 2013 and 2014. It has risen by around 20% since 10 years ago. However this is a hopelessly weak rate of growth, given Prime Minister David Cameron's stated aspiration to achieve a "cycling revolution".

At this rate, it will take 50 years to double cycle use - and the UK would still be at sub-basement levels compared with many European neighbours.  There is a need for the new Government to show real leadership and commitment to cycling across all relevant Government departments. CTC is calling for rapid progress on adopting a strong Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, as promised by the last Parliament, with significant long-term funding, and the need for a national set of cycle-friendly design standards to ensure the money is well spent.

At this rate, it will take 50 years to double cycle use - and we'd still then be at sub-basement levels compared with many of our European neighbours.  There is a crying need for leadership, commitment and significant long-term funding.

Roger Geffen, Campaigns Director

Other statistics out today show that:

  • Overall road traffic levels have risen for two years running, having fallen steadily from 2008 to 2013. They rose by 1.8% comparing the year to March 2015 with the same period a year earlier.
  • The vehicle-type with the sharpest increases has been light van traffic. This is up by 5.1% in the year to March 2015 compared with the preceding 1-year period - and by 68% compared with 20 years ago.
  • By contrast, HGV traffic volumes showed a one-year rise of just 1.0%.  They are only 3% above the levels of 20 years ago, and are actually around 11% lower than they were 10 years ago.
  • The greatest increases in traffic volumes have been on rural roads.
  • The proportion of vehicles exceeding speed limits has been going down, for almost all vehicle-types on almost all types of roads. The exception is a sharp rise in the already very high proportion of lorries and vans exceeding the speed limits on rural single-carriageways.