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Road safety fears stall cycling use

Words: Huw Morris
Cycling / Shutterstock_181277675

Campaigners have urged the government to take action after latest figures show road safety fears are a major reason why more people are not cycling.

Department for Transport (DfT) statistics for 2017 show that cycling use has remained at a similar level for the past 15 years at an average 18 trips per person.

They also indicate that 60 per cent of adults feel it is too dangerous to cycle on the road, with women and older people particularly fearful.

The DfT’s cycling and walking investment strategy aims to double the annual number cycling trips from 0.8 billion in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2025.

Cycling UK demands that ministers should take urgent action to make cycling an attractive option to society.

“Although cycling is statistically much safer than many people think, it’s clear the government has to address the key issues of infrastructure, such as improving roads and cycle lanes, and making sure our traffic laws operate effectively to promote road safety for everyone,” said the group’s head of campaigns, Duncan Dollimore.

The figures also reveal that journeys of under two miles are overwhelmingly by car, even though 38 per cent of respondents think many of these journeys could be made by bike.

“This proves there is an appetite for people to cycle more, and it’s clear that cycling is growing in popularity but only as a leisure pursuit and not as the government’s ambition to make it the natural choice for shorter journeys,” Dollimore added.

Image credit | Shutterstock