A survey from Sustrans claims that this month’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France has inspired a quarter of the British population to ride a bike more often or take to one for the first time.
Millions of people lined the roadside for the two stages in Yorkshire followed by one from Cambridge to London after the race got under way on Saturday 5 July, and the event also received a huge amount of media coverage.
A poll of 500 people conducted by the sustainable transport charity last Friday found that 24.6% of respondents had been inspired by the race’s visit to cycle more often, or to take up cycling, with the highest response by region in London, at 29.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, 30 per cent of those surveyed said that better cycling infrastructure was the single thing that would encourage them to get in the saddle more often.
Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “What a show cycling has seen since the Tour de France hit Yorkshire just a few weeks ago. If the governments ‘cycling revolution’ is to go ahead they must be quick to capitalise on this public passion to reap the benefits in health, congestion and the economy to be had with higher levels of public cycling.”
He added: “These public spectacles have been good for the soul of the nation, but the government must now act to meet this enthusiasm and demand for safer cycling by committing to serious long term funding for safe cycling infrastructure and reducing speed limits to make our roads less hostile.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.