More than 100 cyclists in Manchester this morning enjoyed free coffees and Danish pastries at a pop-up Copenhagen-style bike café to mark the launch of Bike Life, an initiative from Sustrans that will see bike riders in seven cities across the UK quizzed on their attitudes towards cycling.
The initiative is inspired by the Bicycle Account survey conducted in the Danish capital every two years since 1996, which have helped make it arguably the most bike-friendly city in the world.
Besides Greater Manchester, where research will include telephone surveys of 4,000 people, the project will also seek feedback from people living in in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle.
Each city will publish its inaugural Bike Life report this October, with a second edition following in 2017.
According to Sustrans, the reports “will present a range of indicators and data covering levels of investment, facilities for cycling and the purpose of bike journeys,” and they “will be crucial to understanding what is working in terms of cycling investment, and in making the case for further investment that effectively targets people's needs.”
The sustainable transport charity has teamed up with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for the project in the north-west city, with this morning’s event at Whitworth Park coinciding with Bike Month MCR.
Cyclists who popped along this morning had their photos taken with their bikes, and some will make it into the first Manchester edition of the Bike Life report, which is due for publication in October, and which will help form the future of investment in cycling in the city and identify how more people can be encouraged onto two wheels.
In exchange for giving their views on cycling, they received a free coffee and Danish courtesy of Coffee Cranks’ tricycle-based Copenhagen Bike Café.
Rosslyn Colderley, North West Regional Director for Sustrans, pictured above with cyclist Sarah Butler, said: “The Danish capital of Copenhagen was recently voted as the happiest city in the world and it’s no coincidence that over a third of its residents feel safe enough to travel around by bicycle for everyday journeys.
“Greater Manchester has the potential to massively increase levels of healthy, active travel and create a cleaner, safer city, in which people choose to live because of a great quality of life.”
Helen Ramsden, Head of Active Travel and Travel Choices at TfGM added: “The Bike Life report will gather the views of residents in Greater Manchester about cycling and will help us to shape our future cycle plans.
“The report is all part of our commitment to making cycling accessible for everyone which includes investing in cycle routes and cycling parking as well as working with schools, workplaces and communities to encourage people to give cycling a go.”
More information on the Bike Life project in the seven cities it covers can be found on the Sustrans website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.