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Same number of cycle trips but people are riding further finds National Travel Survey

Regular cyclists in particular riding more often and further

The National Travel Survey (NTS) for 2017 reveals that an upward trend in average cycling miles has continued. However, the overall number of cycling trips has remained at a similar level to previous years.

The average number of miles cycled in 2017 was 54 per cent higher than in 2002 at 60 miles per person. People did an average of 17 trips per person per year, compared to 18 in 2002.

Around 14 per cent of people cycled at least once a week, but 66 per cent less than once a year or never. These figures have been broadly unchanged since 2003.

Data was collected via interviews and via a one-week travel diary. The NTS defines ‘cyclists’ as those who recorded the use of a bicycle in their travel diary at least once.

On average in 2017, ‘cyclists’ made about six trips a week and travelled around 1,144 miles per year, up from 687 miles on average in 2002.

The report says: “The NTS sample is not identifying more cyclists, but those in the sample have generally been making more cycling trips and travelling further.”

The survey also reports the number of people who had access to a bicycle in 2017. The figure was 42 per cent overall with young children having the highest rates of bicycle access at 82 per cent.

Just 23 per cent of over-60s have access to a bicycle and only 32 per cent of 20-to-29-year-olds, albeit the rate rises between those two age categories to 49 per cent of 40-to-49-year-olds.

Driving remains the most frequent mode of travel with 68 per cent of journeys made under five miles.

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