The Bike List

New Halfords research highlights key factors affecting participation in cycling

Ahead of the Tour de France launching in Yorkshire next month, Halfords gives a snapshot into the future of cycling in the UK and highlights attitudes towards campaigners' hopes for 10% more segregated cycle routes by 2025.

The research of more than 4,500 adults commissioned by Halfords shows that the key factors affecting participation in cycling on UK roads are safety and convenience. When asked what would persuade them to cycle more,

40% said more lanes just for cyclists; 30% want more places to park and lock bikes, and almost one in five (19%) call for better facilities, such as showers, at work.

Compulsory cycling proficiency was called for by 16% of those questioned, and 12% would want to see the introduction of driving licence-style accreditation for cyclists.

The top 10 results included;

  • Dedicated cycling lanes on every road (40%)
  • More places to park and lock bicycles (30%)
  • Better facilities for cyclists at work (19%)
  • Tax benefits for cyclists (17%)
  • New York-style cycle 'super highways' (16%)
  • Compulsory cycling proficiency for all cyclists (16%)
  • Local cycle safety classes (15%)
  • Driving licence style accreditation for cyclists (12%)
  • Better cycle safety products (11%)
  • Lowering speed limits for cars (10%)

In response to campaigners' calls for a 10% increase in completely separate cycle routes by 2025, Brits said this would lead to less pollution (41%); reduced costs for commuters (38%) and less congestion on the roads (32%).

However, almost a third (28%) said an increase in segregated bike routes, such as London's Superhighway, would in fact lead to more conflict between cyclists and motorists or pedestrians.

Chris Boardman MBE, co-founder of Boardman Bikes and British Cycling Policy Advisor, says: "Health, congestion, pollution, more liveable cites - whatever topic you want to choose, the bicycle can be a large part of the answer. In fact it's the only form of mechanised transport that actually contributes to our society - the UK gains £590 a year for every extra regular cyclist."