English Core Cities appetite for cycling ranked

Space for Cycling event in Manchester
Newcastle, Manchester and Nottingham have highest levels of support for cycling

With the Government offering the possibility of funding for local authorities that can demonstrate commitment to cycling, CTC and local campaign groups have today (Tuesday 18 November) launched a league table ranking English Core Cities’ support for cycling, based on the number of councillors backing the Space for Cycling campaign outside London.

The Core Cities represent the councils of England’s eight largest non-London city economies.

The national Space for Cycling campaign was launched 6 months ago by CTC and local campaign groups, with funding from the Bicycle Association, based on the campaign of the same name initiated by the London Cycle Campaign.

The campaign calls on councillors to make cycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for day-to-day journeys for people all ages and abilities. This requires a combination of protected space on fast or busy main roads, low traffic volumes and speeds on local routes, and quality links including through city centres.

Currently the Government is consulting on a draft Cycling Delivery Plan which offers local authorities partnership funding opportunities. CTC and local campaign groups argue that stronger evidence of local political support will translate into a greater likelihood of central funding.

This funding can be invested in creating quality infrastructure to benefit all road users, which is why councillors in rural and urban areas alike are encouraged to show their support for Space for Cycling.

Space for Cycling is a real opportunity for all cities and highway authorities to show their support for a healthy, environmentally sound and revenue generating mode of transport, namely cycling. Our Core Cities have woken up to the realisation that people want liveable, pleasant urban environments and they see cycling as a means to realise their dream for the cities of tomorrow.

Space for Cycling cannot be achieved on promises and aspirations alone. It is a sad fact that while the Government will make long term financial plans for our roads and rail, there is no commitment to provide the type of funding which will open up cycling to people of all ages and abilities. CTC is calling for an allocation from the transport budget of at least £10 per head per year to be dedicated to cycling

Paul Tuohy, CTC chief executive​

League table

  1. Newcastle: 67%
  2. Manchester: 41%
  3. Nottingham: 31%
  4. Bristol: 26%
  5. Birmingham: 16%
  6. Leeds: 16%
  7. Liverpool: 12%
  8. Sheffield: 11% 

Percentage is worked out by number of councillors who have signed up to Space for Cycling in each highway authority.

The LCC’s initial campaign which focussed on the candidates for London Borough elections had a 47% uptake.  

Notes to editors

  1. CTC, the UK’s largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.ctc.org.uk
  2. The Space for Cycling campaign was originally created by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC). LCC's campaign in London was focussed on lobbying candidates in 2014’s London borough elections, and had 867 candidates signed up to ward-specific asks (47%). CTC took LCC’s London-born campaign nationwide, working together with the Cyclenation federation of local campaign groups, and backed with generous funding from the cycle industry's 'Bike Hub' levy, run by the Bicycle Association. So far, support for the national campaign has resulted in over 600 non-London councillors signing up to the Space for Cycling themes. The campaign incorporates six main themes which are explained here: www.ctc.org.uk/article/campaigns-guide/what-do-we-mean-space-for-cycling 
  3. Core Cities are a united local authority voice to promote the role of our cities in driving economic growth. They represent the councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London. For further information see: www.corecities.com/
  4. New evidence commissioned by CTC values the potential health benefits of cycling at £6bn per year by 2025 if UK cycling increased to 10% of all journeys and up to £25bn per year by 2050 if cycling reach Dutch levels of 25%.
  5. The Get Britain Cycling report called for cycling to be increased from less than 2% of trips at present to 10% of trips (a bit below German levels of cycle use) by 2025, and to 25% of trips (just below Dutch levels) by 2050. It also called for spending of at least £10 per person annually on cycling – rising to £20 as cycle use increases – in order to maximise its health, economic, environmental and other benefits. It took evidence from experts on cycling and sustainable travel, health and road safety, as well as representatives of motoring and freight industries, and Government ministers.  The report was authored by Professor Phil Goodwin, a leading transport researcher at University College London and the University of the West of England.  The inquiry was sponsored by News International, publishers of the Times newspaper, as part of its ‘Cities fit for Cycling’ campaign. Further information can be found at: https://www.ctc.org.uk/campaign/get-britain-cycling

Press contact information

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453