Safety fears holding back potential cycle commuters

Two recently published surveys highlight a fear of injury as a deterrent to potential commuter cyclists – and strong support among the public for better cycling infrastructure.

The first YouGov survey, published on 25 February, sampled the opinions of 1,143 employees of whom just 9% currently cycle to work.

The surveys suggests that more than a quarter (26%) of British commuters don’t cycle to work because of fears of being involved in a collision.

Of the 87% who choose not to cycle, the fear of an accident was the second most common reason, after distance.

16% said there aren’t enough cycle lanes on their route to work, 10% said their workplace didn’t offer anywhere to store a bicycle, while 8% said it was too expensive to take up cycling.

Of those who did cycle to work, 18% said there is a good cycle route (including cycle lanes) while 9% said their employer offered an incentive to cycle.

A separate YouGov poll for British Cycling published yesterday (3 March) suggests an ‘overwhelming public support for new cycling infrastructure’.

71% of respondents supported building cycle tracks on main roads, with 11% unsure and just 18% opposed.

British Cycling says  support is ‘consistently strong across social grades, genders, age groups and political preferences’, and remains above 70% even when respondents were asked to consider a potential delay to their existing commute while the cycling infrastructure was built.

Chris Boardman, British Cycling’s policy advisor, said: “This YouGov poll shows us, yet again, that the vast majority of the public want to see more cycle tracks on main roads.

“This is what people are telling their democratically elected leaders they want; meaningful resource to deliver segregated infrastructure on an ambitious scale to unlock the benefits cycling can offer our society.

“If this kind of evidence isn’t enough to give politicians and transport authorities the confidence to act, I don’t know what is.”