Retailer asks people what would get them to cycle more often

More dedicated cycle lanes to improve safety and better facilities such as showers at work and more cycle parking spaces are the leading factors that would get more people cycling in Great Britain according to a survey commissioned by the nation’s biggest bike retailer, Halfords.

The survey of 4,500 people found that 40 per cent of respondents said that a dedicated cycle lane on every road would persuade them to cycle more often.

In addition, 30 per cent said they would be influenced to do so if more cycle parking were available, 19 per cent cited better facilities such as showers at work, and 17 per cent were in favour of tax benefits for bike riders.

Among the top responses were: 

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

Halfords also questioned people about calls by certain cycling campaigners – which, exactly, wasn’t specified – for a 10 per cent increase in segregated cycle lanes by 2025.

Some 41 per cent of respondents said that such an increase would lead to less pollution, 38 per cent agreed it would bring commuting costs down, and 32 per cent believed it would lead to less congestion on the roads.

But 28 per cent thought that it would result in greater conflict between cyclists and other road users such as pedestrians and motorists.

Chris Boardman, who as policy advisor to British Cycling helped launch its 10-point Time To #ChooseCycling manifesto in February this year, said: “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," he added.

The fact that dedicated cycle lanes emerged as the top response is in line with other surveys we have covered here on road.cc, such as this one from the University of the West of England in April, which reveal the perception of danger from traffic to be the number one barrier to cycling.

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.