New research reveals discontent with current UK cycling infrastructure
Research, conducted by Shimano, shows that despite a large increase in cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic due to quieter roads and a desire to avoid traffic, just 27% of people in the UK feel that improvements have been made in their local area to ensure safety for cyclists.
Despite the four administrations’ ambitions across the UK to improve cycling, the lack of perceived progress is in stark comparison to other countries such as Poland and France, where 56% and 49% (respectively) of people feel that infrastructure has improved.
One solution in England is to embed cycling and walking infrastructure into new housing developments.
Cycling UK, alongside MPs and partner organisations in England, are calling for amendments to the current Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill through Pedal-Powered Planning which focuses on climate, health and wellbeing.
It is hoped that by pushing for this legislation, developers will be incentivised to prioritise active travel options in new projects rather than locking in car dependence. Consequently communities will feel safe when cycling and walking for everyday journeys, and in turn feel the cost, environmental and health benefits.
We have lost sight of the fact that most new developments are designing for car dependency and preventing homeowners from experiencing the many mental and physical health benefits which come from active travel
Zak Viney, campaigns officer at Cycling UK
Zak Viney, campaigns officer at Cycling UK, commented: “In the midst of the house-building boom in the UK, we have lost sight of the fact that most new developments are designing for car dependency and preventing homeowners from experiencing the many mental and physical health benefits which come from active travel.
“For the Government to reach its Net Zero targets and deliver its ambitious Cycling and Walking Plan, we must provide a safe environment to allow people to pedal or walk for everyday journeys.”
The Shimano study covered 2,000 UK respondents, as part of a wider group of more than 15,000 people across 12 European countries.
Jonathan Davis, PR and communications manager at Shimano Europe, said: “We are delighted to be launching our fourth State of the Nation report. Based on a poll of over 15,500 people across Europe, it aims to examine the motivations of e-bike users and better understand the attitudes to e-bikes and cycling more widely.
'“We hope this report will be a useful tool for anyone in the cycling industry and beyond.”
Ahead of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill that’s due to be debated in Parliament on 23 and 28 November, Cycling UK has launched an online action allowing people to easily contact their MPs, and ask them to support a better future for where they live.