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Majority thinks Government should invest more in cycling, survey finds

Sustrans calls for cycling to be added to Infrastructure Bill

A majority of British adults think the Government should invest more in cycling, according to a new survey.

The YouGov poll of 2,025 adults across Great Britain also found that over a quarter (27%) would think more positively of an electoral candidate who campaigned for cycling.

Almost a third (31%) of respondents would be more likely to travel by bike if more cycle lanes were separated from traffic on busy roads and over a third (36%) said they don’t cycle more because it is too dangerous.

That latter finding echoes many previous surveys which identify fear of road danger as the reason people choose not to cycle.

Active travel charity, Sustrans, which commissioned the survey, says that it's evidence cycling could be an electoral issue, and that the Infrastructure Bill currently making its way through Parliament must be amended to include cycling.

Claire Francis, head of campaigns at Sustrans said: “Being able to get about by bike has become a serious issue for the British voter; candidates looking for success in the coming general election would do right to recognise this.

“Despite these new figures, the Infrastructure Bill, which the government hopes to make law by March, is set to deliver the biggest shake up to the roads network in a generation, yet has no strategy for cycling.”

“We must change the Infrastructure Bill’s narrow focus on motor traffic and invest in cycling to extend travel choice, to ease congestion, improve our health and our environment.”

“The cross-party amendment being proposed for this bill would provide a great opportunity to guarantee long term funding and ensure much safer cycling for everyone, whilst securing support from voters.”

YouGov also surveyed 959 adults from nine English cities*. Over half (54%) of those surveyed supported increased spending on safe cycling routes in their area, even if it meant less would be spent on things that benefit other road users.

Nearly half of people surveyed (46%) in some of the largest English cities also said they would think more positively of an electoral candidate who campaigned for cycling.

Almost half (47%) of those living in the major cities surveyed said they would cycle more if cycle lanes were separated from traffic on busy roads – 44% said they don’t cycle more because “it’s too dangerous”.

*London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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