A survey from Sustrans claims that this month’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France has inspired a quarter of the British population to ride a bike more often or take to one for the first time.
Millions of people lined the roadside for the two stages in Yorkshire followed by one from Cambridge to London after the race got under way on Saturday 5 July, and the event also received a huge amount of media coverage.
A poll of 500 people conducted by the sustainable transport charity last Friday found that 24.6% of respondents had been inspired by the race’s visit to cycle more often, or to take up cycling, with the highest response by region in London, at 29.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, 30 per cent of those surveyed said that better cycling infrastructure was the single thing that would encourage them to get in the saddle more often.
Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “What a show cycling has seen since the Tour de France hit Yorkshire just a few weeks ago. If the governments ‘cycling revolution’ is to go ahead they must be quick to capitalise on this public passion to reap the benefits in health, congestion and the economy to be had with higher levels of public cycling.”
He added: “These public spectacles have been good for the soul of the nation, but the government must now act to meet this enthusiasm and demand for safer cycling by committing to serious long term funding for safe cycling infrastructure and reducing speed limits to make our roads less hostile.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.