The Mayor of London’s pledge to spend over £770m on cycling initiatives in London and the explosion of mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) would seem to show that cycling is one of the UK’s most popular forms of transport.
Well, think again. A new survey carried out by YouGov would appear to contradict this view. The survey found that cycling is Britain’s ‘least favoured way to travel’ with a stonking 49% of the respondents having an unfavourable view of it.
Moreover, when compared with all modes of travel, cycling is the only one where people were likely to have a “highly unfavourable” view of it rather than a “somewhat unfavourable” view, at 29 per cent versus 20 per cent.
Women were more likely to have less favourable view compared to men, with their concerns about safety colouring their attitude. And despite the huge investment made by the Mayor of London in creating a network of dedicated cycle lanes, Londoners were still less likely to favour cycling as a form of transport compared with the attitudes held nationally (34 per cent versus 40 per cent).
Somewhat disappointingly – for those concerned with the environment at least – travelling by car as a passenger was favoured as a way of travel by around twice as many people who cited cycling, at a stonking 81 per cent. Clearly, getting hot and sweaty doesn’t appeal to as many people as they would hope when compared to sitting in a vehicle with the AC or heater on all the while listening to music or making a call. Funny that.
Having said all that, walking came out tops, favoured by 84% of the respondents and with only 11% holding a negative view. Perhaps local authorities should invest in dedicated pedestrian highways? Hang on, aren’t they called pavements?