Cycling UK publishes report urging council bravery over cycle lanes

The cycling charity, Cycling UK has published a report for councils urging them to be brave in the face of a vocal minority of opposition to new cycle lanes.

The Active Travel Funding report has taken evidence from four national opinion polls carried out in 2020 which show there is actually widespread support for more cycle lanes across the UK.

The surveys carried for the Department for Transport, Cycling UK, #BikeIsBest and Greenpeace reveal that around 60% of the population agrees that more cycle lanes should be built.

More than half (56%) in a YouGov poll of 2,000 adults on behalf of Cycling UK said they supported active travel measures introduced by councils in the light of the pandemic.

But a number of projects have already been removed by councils in the face of a small but vocal pockets of opposition.

For example, a popular cycle lane in Kensingston High Street in London was removed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea earlier this month following a concerted campaign in the Mail on Sunday and led by local resident, actor Nigel Havers.

Other schemes across the country have similarly been removed before local authorities had allowed sufficient time to properly assess their impact.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “We need local authorities to be brave and to push ahead with more and better active travel projects and not feel bullied into abandoning schemes without any proper evaluation of their benefits just because a minority of people object.

“The simple fact is that we need to make it more appealing for people to cycle and walk, particularly for short journeys, to avoid clogging up our cities with polluting motor traffic and to help make us all fitter and healthier.

“Let’s be bold. Let’s tackle these problems head on and get the country moving again, safely, healthily and cheaply, by foot or by bike where it’s safe and sensible to do so.”

The survey work also revealed that many people overestimated the general public’s opposition to the schemes even though they supported them.

So although only 19% of people in a YouGov survey for Cycling UK opposed the recently introduced active travel funded schemes, they estimated that 29% of the general public opposed them.

Copies of Cycling UK’s report are being sent to transport planners in local government across the country.

Meanwhile, Cycling UK is taking urgent legal advice over whether about whether councils’ decisions to remove schemes designed to promote walking and cycling are “unreasonable”. 


Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national 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.

Press contact information

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 07786 320 713 or email