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Would-be cyclists want more cycle lanes and better facilities, says Halfords survey

Retailer asks people what would get them to cycle more often

More dedicated cycle lanes to improve safety and better facilities such as showers at work and more cycle parking spaces are the leading factors that would get more people cycling in Great Britain according to a survey commissioned by the nation’s biggest bike retailer, Halfords.

The survey of 4,500 people found that 40 per cent of respondents said that a dedicated cycle lane on every road would persuade them to cycle more often.

In addition, 30 per cent said they would be influenced to do so if more cycle parking were available, 19 per cent cited better facilities such as showers at work, and 17 per cent were in favour of tax benefits for bike riders.

Among the top responses were: 

  • Dedicated cycling lanes on every road (40per cent)
  • More places to park and lock bicycles (30per cent)
  • Better facilities for cyclists at work (19per cent)
  • Tax benefits for cyclists (17per cent)
  • New York-style cycle ‘super highways’ (16 per cent)
  • Compulsory cycling proficiency for all cyclists (16 per cent)
  • Local cycle safety classes (15 per cent)
  • Driving licence style accreditation for cyclists (12 per cent)
  • Better cycle safety products (11 per cent)
  • Lowering speed limits for cars (10 per cent)

Halfords also questioned people about calls by certain cycling campaigners – which, exactly, wasn’t specified – for a 10 per cent increase in segregated cycle lanes by 2025.

Some 41 per cent of respondents said that such an increase would lead to less pollution, 38 per cent agreed it would bring commuting costs down, and 32 per cent believed it would lead to less congestion on the roads.

But 28 per cent thought that it would result in greater conflict between cyclists and other road users such as pedestrians and motorists.

Chris Boardman, who as policy advisor to British Cycling helped launch its 10-point Time To #ChooseCycling manifesto in February this year, said: “Health, congestion, pollution, more liveable cites – whatever topic you want to choose, the bicycle can be a large part of the answer.

“In fact it's the only form of mechanised transport that actually contributes to our society – the UK gains £590 a year for every extra regular cyclist," he added.

The fact that dedicated cycle lanes emerged as the top response is in line with other surveys we have covered here on, such as this one from the University of the West of England in April, which reveal the perception of danger from traffic to be the number one barrier to cycling.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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