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Average trip length and number of trips both up in 2009

CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, has welcomed new government research that it says shows that use of bicycles has grown to “the highest level in decades.”

According to the Department for Transport’s annual National Travel Survey, in 2009, distance travelled per person by bicycle was 46 miles, compared to 42 miles the previous year, with the average trip distance rising from 2.4 miles to 2.8 miles. The number of trips per person remained unchanged at 16, however.

Chris Peck, Policy Coordinator at CTC, said: "We expected that the recession, along with high fuel prices, would lead to an increase in cycling. What is surprising is that the growth is particularly associated with those in the highest income bracket, which may be as a result of the boom in leisure cycling and commuting by bike. The upward trend has been most marked in the south of England, with 8% of inner London residents and one in 25 workers in the South East and South West now saying they cycle to work.”

He continued: “At the same time as cycling is increasing, car use is steadily falling. Expenditure on new cars is down by 13% in three years, while sales of bikes have soared by 25% over the same period."

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.