Cardiff Bike Life 2015

If you ever wanted to know anything about the state of cycling in Cardiff, today is a good day for you. Sustrans has published the data from its Bike Life survey for 2015.

Taken across seven cities in the UK including Cardiff, the survey aims to shed light on attitudes towards cycling in the UK and, as it turns out, attitudes are better than many of us would have expected.

Bike Life will help us really understand the state of cycling in Cardiff. It will help us learn what matters to existing cyclists and also to non-cyclists. It will show us where we have been successful and which areas we need to focus on and improve so that we can encourage more people to cycle in the city. – via Cardiff Bike Life 2015 (PDF)

We’ve spent some time talking about political will and we’ve also spent some time talking about the social determinants of health, so we know that many of the problems we face as a city and as a society –inactivity; pollution; avoidable ill health can be mitigated by getting more people cycling.

What is surprising is just how many people want to cycle more; want to see more people cycling and want more money spent on making that happen.

Some key stats from the report include:

  • 11.5 million bike trips in Cardiff in a year
  • 28% increase in trips by bike between 2013 and 2014
  • 28% of people ride a bike once a month or more
  • 8 in 10 people support increasing the safety of cycling, more than any other way of getting around the city
  • 78% of people in Cardiff want to see more spent on cycling
  • £16 million is the benefit to health in the city, in a single year, from the current level of people riding bikes
  • 6,184 tonnes of CO2 saved by people making trips by riding a bike rather than driving – equivalent to the annual emissions of 2,436 cars
  • 67p per mile is the saving to individuals and to the local economy, for every mile biked instead of driven – which works out at nearly £14 million a year for Cardiff, at current levels of cycling

The good news is, Cardiff Council are planning to use the results of this survey to inform its forthcoming cycling strategy, due next year.

Here’s hoping this strategy will show a little more ambition from the Council than we’ve seen so far. It would be nice to see the end of the shared paths and door-zone cycle lanes we’ve become accustomed to in Cardiff, in favour of the sorts of dedicated infrastructure other cities in the UK are installing right now.

You can read more about the report on the Sustrans website.

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